Govt sets 'Boss' case deadline

Govt sets 'Boss' case deadline

Wissanu says he wants updates in seven days

Vorayuth
Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya is with Bangkok police after his hit-and-run crash on Sept 3, 2012.

The government has set a seven-day deadline for state agencies whose officials are alleged to have been involved in the mishandling of the 2012 hit-and-run case involving Red Bull scion Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya to provide updates on their investigations.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Monday the Office of Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) had not yet informed him of its progress but he understood it might not be able to meet the deadline given the scale of its probe.

Other government agencies that must report back to the deputy PM include the Office of the Attorney-General, the Royal Thai Police, the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the Department of Special Investigation and the Lawyers Council of Thailand.

Whether the results of are made public is up to the PACC, Mr Wissanu said, referring to the investigation by a committee chaired by Vicha Mahakun.

Its initial report suggested a conspiracy among numerous judicial and state officials, as well as political office-holders, lawyers and a number of witnesses. These findings were presented to the prime minister and sent to other agencies on Aug 31.

According to the deputy PM, none are currently serving as MPs.

The Institute for Justice Reform on Monday issued its second statement on the case, in which it urged the prime minister to heed its four recommendations to restore public trust in the judicial system. These are:

1. Set up a disciplinary panel to take action against police who attended a meeting with a member of the National Legislative Assembly, prosecutors, a university lecturer and a lawyer to discuss adjustments to the estimation of the speed the suspect's car was travelling at when the incident occurred.

2. Instruct the national police chief to conclude its investigation into the accused officers within 30 days and report on its progress every seven days.

3. Instruct the Department of Special Investigation to urgently interrogate Pol Col Thanasit Taengchan and all those present at the meeting in which he is allegedly heard in an audio clip discussing changing this estimation.

4. Assign the permanent secretary for the Office of the Prime Minister to find those involved in the mishandling of the case which includes the failure to give Mr Vorayuth an alcohol breath test immediately after he turned himself in, failure to press a drug charge against him and allowing some of his charges to expire.

The voice clip contains conversations between police, the university lecturer and the suspect's lawyer. One of the officers was Pol Col Thanasit, from the Office of Police Forensic Science, who examined the scene of the accident in 2012. The other two police officers are a police colonel and a police general.

The conversations were believed to have been transcribed from an audio recording which Pol Col Thanasit submitted to the Vicha committee of the meeting, according to the Isra news agency.

The second colonel and the general alleged to be heard discussing ways to make the first calculation look like a technical error, said the news agency.

Mr Vorayuth, 35, was driving his Ferrari when it hit and killed Wichian Klanprasert, 47, as the police officer was riding his motorcycle on Sukhumvit Road in the early hours of Sept 3, 2012. His most serious charge, reckless driving causing death, was dropped in July this year, sparking widespread outrage and subsequent probes by many government agencies.


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