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WEDNESDAY, September 28, 2022
Prayut orders new panel to look into ‘Boss’ case

Prayut orders new panel to look into ‘Boss’ case

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 2020

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday (July 29) ordered the setting up of a fact-finding panel to look into the public prosecutors’ decision to drop the last, but most important charge against Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya over the hit-and-run incident that killed a police officer in 2012.

The 10-member panel, chaired by Vicha Mahakhun, a former member of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, will go into operation from August 1 and is required to report to the premier within 30 days.
The panel has been tasked with investigating facts and legal aspects of the decision to drop the charge, and can provide recommendations on amending relevant laws or improving officials’ performance. However, it cannot interfere in the duties or authority of the officials in charge of this case.
Prayut’s order said the case has been watched closely and the dropping of the final charge has sparked public criticism, which can undermine public trust in related agencies, officials and judicial system. However, the order specified that public prosecutors are entitled to make independent decisions and perform duties in line with the Constitution and law.
The order also said that this was a special case and the public should be given an opportunity to learn facts and legal aspects as well as the actions of related persons to ensure transparency and justice.
Vorayuth allegedly crashed his Ferrari into Thong Lor police officer Pol Snr Sgt-Major Wichian Klanprasert in the morning of September 3, 2012, causing his death.
Police initially charged him on five counts – drunk driving, speeding, reckless driving causing damage to assets, refusing to stop and help a crash victim and reckless driving causing death.
In 2013, police decided to drop the drunk driving and speeding charges and forwarded the rest to public prosecutors. However, the public prosecutors disagreed with the decision to only press three charges and reinstated the charge of speeding, which along with the charge on reckless driving causing damages expired later in September.
The defendant was told to show up to acknowledge the charges of refusing to stop to help a crash victim and reckless driving causing death in April 2016, but has continued postponing his appearance since then.
Vorayuth also had his lawyer seek justice from the National Legislative Assembly’s committee on law, judicial process and police affairs.
In April 2017, the South Bangkok Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against Vorayuth.
The statute of limitations on refusing to stop and help a crash victim charge expired on September 3, 2017.
Last month, the public prosecutor decided not to press the last and most important charge of reckless driving causing death against Vorayuth even though it does not expire until 2027. The prosecutor’s decision was backed by the police.