Prosecutors tell police to reinvestigate Ferrari’s speed in Vorayuth 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)

Police have been instructed, by public prosecutors, to question two automotive specialists who insist that the speed of the Ferrari, being driven by Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya when it hit policeman, Pol Sgt-Maj Wichen Klanprasert, was over the 80kph legal limit.

Dr. Suthon Vijarnwannalak, a physics lecturer at Chulalongkorn University, and Dr. Samart Rachpolasit, former deputy governor of Bangkok, have maintained that the Ferrari was travelling at 177kph and 126kph respectively at the time of the accident on Sukhumvit Road in 2012.

Mr. Itthiporn Petkhun, deputy spokesman for the Office of Attorney-General (OAG), told a news conference on Monday that the OAG’s ad hoc panel considers the speed calculations by Doctors Suthon and Samart to be new evidence and worthy of further investigation by the police.

He said that the police will be asked to question the Council of Engineers to examine the qualifications of Dr. Saiprasit Kerdniyom, a lecturer at King Mongkut Institute of Technology who insisted that the Ferrari was travelling within the 80kph limit, to determine their validity.
Since the car’s speed is a key element, which will determine whether the charge of reckless driving will be revived against the suspect. Mr. Itthiporn said public prosecutors must find the most reliable speed calculation to substantiate the charge.
Mr. Itthiporn added that the OAG’s panel has also instructed the police to file a drug abuse charge against Mr. Vorayuth after a blood test, conducted by doctors at Ramathibodi Hospital, indicated the presence of cocaine.

The police were told to submit their new findings to public prosecutors by August 20th.

Mr. Charnchai Chalanonniwat, deputy director-general of the OAG’s Criminal Litigation Office, explained today that the new probe into the car’s speed did not mean that the evidence given by Dr. Saiprasit was false.

He also defended the police for not pressing the drug abuse charge against the Red Bull heir, claiming that the blood test result did not confirm that Mr. Vorayuth had illegally used cocaine, because the positive test result could be caused by ingestion of other medicines.

Meanwhile, Pol Gen Sattawat Hirunburana, a special advisor to the Royal Thai Police, said today that the police fact-finding panel has identified the officers who allegedly mishandled the hit-and-run case, but he declined to name them.

The panel, he said, is expected to wrap up its probe and submit its findings to the national police chief, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, in the next 48 hours.



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