OAG panel meets to probe prosecutors’ handling of Red Bull heir’s case
The seven-member fact-finding panel, of Thailand’s Office of the Attorney-General (OAG), held its first meeting today to discuss their work related to the controversial decision, by public prosecutors, not to prosecute Red Bull heir Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya over a fatal hit-and-run incident in Bangkok in 2012.
Led by the Deputy Attorney-General, Mr. Somsak Tiyawanic, the other members of the panel are Mr. Singchai Taninsorn, Director-General of the Criminal Litigation Office, Mr. Chartpong Chiraphan, Director-General of the Economic and Natural Resources Litigation Office, Mr. Paramet Intharachumnoom, Director-General of the Thon Buri Criminal Litigation Office, Mr. Charnchai Chalanontniwat, Deputy Director-General of the Criminal Litigation Office, Mr. Itthiporn Kaewtip, Deputy Director-General of the Criminal Litigation Office and Mr. Prayuth Petkhun, Special Prosecutor of the Criminal Litigation Section 3.
The panel will go through the Vorayuth case file, prepared by the prosecutors, and the reasons behind the decision to drop the charges, to determine whether they are in accordance with the law and related regulations.
The panel is also empowered to summon individuals for questioning.
Meanwhile, it is reported that a separate fact-finding panel, set up by the Royal Thai Police and led by Pol Gen Satawat Hirunburana, Special Advisor to the RTP, will meet tomorrow (Wednesday), for the first time, to consider the same case.
Critics have questioned why the police did not challenge the prosecutors’ decision not to proceed against Vorayuth, on the only outstanding charge of reckless driving causing death to other people. The police agreed with the prosecutors’ decision and revoked the arrest warrant issued against the alleged offender.
It is reported that the prosecutors based their decision not to prosecute on new evidence, provided by two witnesses, which emerged eight years after the fatal accident. They claimed that Vorayuth was not speeding, but drove his Ferrari within the 80kph speed limit, and that it was the fault of the victim, a police officer, who cut in front of the Ferrari, resulting in the fatal collision.