About 20 police officers mishandled Vorayuth’s hit and run case

FILE – In this April 5, 2017, file photo, Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya, whose grandfather co-founded energy drink company Red Bull, walks to get in a car as he leaves a house in London. Thailand’s prime minister responded Wednesday, July 29, 2020, to growing public furor by ordering a probe into the dropping of criminal charges against the Thai heir to the Red Bull energy drink fortune accused of killing a policeman in a hit-and-run accident eight years ago. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

About 20 police officers, including a police commissioner, have been found, by a police fact-finding panel, to be at fault over the mishandling the Red Bull heir’s hit-and-run case.

Pol Lt-Gen Charuwat Waisaya, the assistant police chief and chair of the panel, said today that he had submitted the findings, and the list of the 20 officers, to the national police chief, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, for consideration of disciplinary or legal action to be taken against them.

Of the 20 officers, nine were earlier found to be at fault by the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

Mr. Vicha Mahakhun, who heads the Government’s fact-finding committee on a similar case, said that he had found irregularities in the case files. He also said that he had summoned the former police chief, Pol Gen Somyot Poompunmuang, for questioning on Thursday.

Pol Gen Somyot took Dr. Saiprasit Kerdnihyom, a lecturer at King Mongkut Institute of Technology, to meet with the chief of the Office of Police Forensic Science, to submit a new estimate of the speed of the Ferrari, being driven by Vorayuth Yoovidhya, the Red Bull heir, at the time of the fatal accident eight years ago.

Mr. Vicha said that a forensics officer, Pol Col Thanasit Taengchan, who revised his estimate of the car’s speed, from 177kph to less than 80kph, was questioned by his panel for over three hours, during which he admitted that he was under heavy pressure to change the speed and that he is now concerned for his safety.



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