Red Bull scion Vorayuth Yoovidhaya could still be prosecuted after new evidences have emerged, the public prosecutor said on Tuesday after all charges related to a fatal hit-and-run in 2012 against Vorayuth have been dropped.
The Thai public reacted with fury about impunity for the rich after the dismissals from all charges against Vorayuth were revealed late last month. The Office of the Attorney General has set up a seven-member panel to compile a report on the questions surrounding Vorayuth’s case.
Prayut Phetcharakun, the office’s deputy spokesman, told reporters on Tuesday said the prosecutor had made a sound decision to drop the charges based on the available evidence and eyewitness testimonies put forward by police investigators at the time.
However, the panel suggested that a new prosecution process could proceed because there were new evidences, the alleged cocaine use and speeding.
The investigators should charge Vorayuth for his alleged cocaine use since police had not raised the matter in their reports, said Prayut.
For speeding, the committee cited an academic finding about the actual speed of Vorayuth’s car, which was also regarded as new evidence, Prayut said.
Besides this panel, police and the government have also appointed their own probe panels to examine the high-profile case.
Police said in the report that they did not press drug charges against Vorayuth because the cocaine was used for his dental treatment. But a dentist guild soon disputed the claim, saying that the use of cocaine in dental treatments was abolished a century ago.
The public prosecutors and police have been alleged of whitewashing the Red Bull scion. Legal experts, parliamentary panels and activist groups have pressured for investigations into the prosecutors and police who handled the case.
Vorayuth was accused of driving his Ferrari when it hit the rear of a policeman’s motorcycle, dragging the body along Sukhumvit Road, near his house, for several meters early morning of September 3, 2012.
He then fled the scene and hid in his house for several hours. He missed hearing charges seven times as media reports show his jet-setting lifestyle in the UK.
The speeding charge and reckless driving causing damage to assets were dropped when the one-year statute of limitations expired, while the charge of failling to stop and help a crash victim expired in September last year.
It was reported by foreign media on June 24 that the last and most serious charge, reckless driving causing death, was dropped. (TNA)