Law professors demand explanations from prosecutors and police over Red Bull heir’s case
A group of 32 law professors, at Thailand’s Thammasat University, signed a statement on Monday calling on the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) and the Royal Thai Police (RTP) to disclose to the public the full details of the legal proceedings in the Red Bull heir’s hit-and-run case, and the reasons why they decided not to prosecute.
In the statement, the professors said that the Red Bull heir, Mr. Vorayuth Yoovidhya, was initially charged with five offences by the police and, if the case had been handled in a straightforward manner and the suspect found guilty, why he might have been given a suspended jail term.
Due to the social and economic status of Mr. Vorayuth, however, the professors allege that there have been systematic efforts to assist the suspect to avoid prosecution, to the extent that some officials have already been disciplined.
They took note of the slow handling of the case, which resulted statute of limitation expiry of three charges, and the suspicious matter of an allegedly ignored forensic report, suggesting drug use by the suspect, which could have justified a charge of reckless driving under the influence of drugs.
Even though prosecutors have some discretion in prosecutorial decisions, the law professors said that those decisions must be based on evidence and be reasonable.
Since the beginning of the legal proceedings against Vorayuth in 2012, the professors claim that public suspicion of the handling of the case, by police and prosecutors, has been steadily increasing and, yet, there has been scarcely any explanation from the two law enforcement organizations, causing the public to lose of trust and confidence in Thailand’s justice system.