Police 'botched Boss report'

Police 'botched Boss report'

Panel finds 20 officers negligent

Vorayuth Yoovidhya is in police custody after the hit-and-run crash in September 2012. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Vorayuth Yoovidhya is in police custody after the hit-and-run crash in September 2012. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The police panel probing the alleged mishandling of the 2012 hit-and-run case wrapped up its investigation on Wednesday. Twenty police were found to be negligent in the probe, said assistant national police chief Pol Lt Gen Jaruwat Waisaya, in his capacity as deputy chairman of the panel.

They produced a flawed report which led to public prosecutors deciding not to indict Red Bull scion Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya on a reckless driving causing death charge stemming from the case. The panel plans to forward its findings to national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda to consider ordering a disciplinary probe against the police, some of whom are now retired, said Pol Lt Gen Jaruwat.

Of the 20 implicated, 11 were members of the police's first team of investigators handling the case and the rest were members of a second police team formed to take over the probe from the first. Two of the policemen named were a police lieutenant general and a police major general, he said. They were found to have failed to ensure the investigation into the case was strictly implemented and failed to produce a complete report, he said.

In addition to a possible disciplinary probe, they may face some criminal charges and a further investigation by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), he said.

Some of the 11 police and former police in the first investigation have already faced legal action by the NACC, he said. This investigation into alleged mishandling of the case was final, he said.

To date, three panels have been formed to look into the dropping of the reckless driving causing death charge, after the decision sparked a public outcry. One was set up by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and headed by former National Anti-Corruption commissioner Vicha Mahakhun and the others two were launched by the Office of the Attorney-General and the Royal Thai Police Office to look into their roles in the case.

The Vorayuth saga dominated public attention with the NACC spurred into action after lawyer Ronnarong Kaewphet led law students from across the country to lodge a petition with the anti-graft agency asking it to look into whether prosecutors who let Mr Vorayuth off the hook exercised their power honestly and in line with the law.

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