Thai PM assures no interference in justice process, insists doubts over Red Bull heir case be cleared

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha assured today that he will not interfere with process of justice, but reiterated that all doubts surrounding the alleged mishandling, by public prosecutors and the police, of the Red Bull heir’s hit-and-run case must be cleared up.

He said that he is waiting for a report from the independent fact-finding committee, headed by Mr. Vicha Mahahkhun, a former member of the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

As the leader of the executive branch, the Prime Minister said that he cannot meddle in the legal process, as he responded to a suggestion, by several legal experts, that he should invoke his special power to revive the case, which has been declared closed by public prosecutors.

He explained that he ordered the body of a key defence witness, Mr. Jaruchart Mardthong, held for further examination, to clear up suspicion that his death, in a road accident in Chiang Mai on July 30th, was an act of foul play.

When the doubt is cleared up, he said that the body can be returned to his relatives.

Meanwhile, Mr. Prayut Petkhun, deputy spokesman of the Office of the Attorney-General, told the media today that the OAG’s investigating committee will release its findings to the public on Tuesday.

Khunying Porntip Rojanasunan, a member of the Senate Committee on Human Rights, Liberties and Consumers Protection, said today that police were very quick to conclude, from video footage, that Jaruchart died in an ordinary road accident.

Citing Section 150 of the Criminal Procedural Code, the former forensic expert said that an autopsy should be conducted in cases of unnatural death, adding that examining the body now might be difficult due to partial decomposition.


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