Saturday, September 26, 2020

Police timeline for ‘Boss’ case

Aug 14. 2020
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By The Nation

Sattawat Hiranburana, adviser to the National Police chief, on Thursday (August 13) released a timeline of the investigation into the fatal hit-and-run case involving Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya.

The sequence of events from September 3, 2012 to March 4, 2013 are detailed as follows:

September 3, 2012 

5.30am:  Investigation officer on duty receives a report about a police officer being killed in an accident. Police go to the scene and find the motorbike, body of police officer Wichian Klanprasert and traces of oil. The supervising officer and doctor arrive at the scene for examination. 

6.20am: Investigation officers and the doctor oversee initial autopsy of the corpse. 

7am: Engine oil on the street is tracked to the home of Chalerm Yoovidhya in Sukhumvit Soi 53. The supervisor orders the investigation officer to seek a search warrant to enter the said house. Then-police chief Kumronvit Thoopkrachang inspects the crime scene. 

9.15am: Investigation officers along with evidence collectors inspect the vehicle parked at the accused’s house and acknowledge that the father Chalerm has his son Vorayuth surrender. 

9.30am: The investigation officer charges Vorayuth of reckless driving causing death and not stopping to help the victim as well as not reporting the incident to a competent official. Vorayuth denies all charges. Police do not have him undergo a urine test for drugs as per Section 131, and do not collect all the evidence pertinent to the offence. 

1pm: Inquiry official confiscates the vehicle and sends it to the forensic office for inspection. Police make an announcement calling for witnesses.

3.10pm: The accused is released temporarily with a guarantee of Bt500,000 in cash. (This step was incorrect as in the case of surrender without an arrest warrant, police must call on the court to issue a warrant as per Section 134 of the Criminal Code.) 

4.30pm: The suspect is sent to Bumrungrad Hospital for a blood test to check on traces of alcohol and drugs. 

September 4: An investigation team led by Pol Colonel Sukun Phommaryon is set up. Inquiry staff calls on the police commission to have vehicle inspection specialists sent to the Forensic Science Institute. 

September 5: The investigation team receives a report from the Traffic Police on the condition of both vehicles involved in the accident. According to Pol Lt-Colonel Somyot Abniam’s testimony the two vehicles were being driven at a speed of no more than 80 kilometres per hour. The blood test at Bamrungrad Hospital reveals 64.68mcg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

September 6: CCTV footage is collected about 150 metres away from the accident site and sent to the forensic office to detect the speed Vorayuth’s Ferrari was being driven at. 

September 8: Jaruchart Maadthong, a key witness who recently died in a motorbike accident, meets the investigation officer to say he was driving a pick-up truck when he saw a motorbike switching from lane one to two. Jaruchart said he then shifted to lane one, and heard a loud crash behind him, but did not turn to look. 

September 13: Police receive the results of Vorayuth’s second blood test from Ramathibodhi Hospital, which lists the presence of alprazolam, benzoylecgonine, cocaethylene and caffeine in the blood.

September 16: Assoc Prof Dr Wisoot Kongcharoensomba who tested the suspect’s blood and found foreign substances is questioned by police.

September 17: Police receive test results on soil on the soles of the suspect’s shoes, mats on the floor of his car and driver’s seat etc. 

September 18: Police writes to Ramathibodhi Hospital asking for the names of the foreign substances found in the suspect’s blood to be checked. 

September 26: Police receives a DVD of the CCTV test result, which determines that the car was being driven at 177kmph.

October 9: Police write to the Institute of Forensic Medicine asking for a check on the names of foreign substances found in the suspect’s blood.

October 11: The investigation team receives a response from Ramathibodhi Hospital saying that alprazolam may be a sleeping pill or an antidepressant, benzoylecgonine is created from cocaine use, cocaethylene is produced after cocaine is mixed with alcohol and caffeine is found in tea, coffee or energy drinks. 

October 28: The Institute of Forensic Medicine responds saying benzoylecgonline and cocaethylene are derived from cocaine that is not mixed with food. 

November 20: Vorayuth’s lawyer asks to question the doctor who tested the suspect’s blood as well as a maid at the suspect’s house. 

December 2: The doctor who examined Vorayuth’s blood alcohol content at 4.30pm on September 3, testified that he had found 64.48mcg alcohol in 100ml of blood. He also said that if the suspect had consumed alcohol from 6am, the blood to alcohol level would be 328.11 per cent, resulting in the drinker being unconscious and unable to drive. The investigation team did not consider the views of other experts, as this doctor was a witness brought forward by the accused. The investigation into this is incomplete. 

December 15: Police interrogate a maid at the suspect’s home, who said the accused had started drinking at 7am, after the incident.  

December 19: A new investigation team is set up. 

January 10, 2013: Vorayuth’s lawyer asks for the testimonies of the suspect’s dentist Dr Narong Potiket as well as Ramathibodi Hospital’s medical chief Dr Vichan Peonim to be examined in relation to evidence of cocaine found in the suspect’s blood. 

January 16: Dr Vichan’s testimony, who said that the presence of foreign substances in Vorayuth’s blood may have been caused by medical treatment or false results from antibiotics as well as dentist Dr Narong, who claimed he had prescribed Amoxicillin 500mg to the suspect is examined. The antibiotic prescribed by Dr Narong was not tested to see if it would create benzoylecgonine and cocaethylene in the blood.

February 14: Pol Lt-Colonel Suraphol Detrattanavinai, expert witness and police specialist in mechanical and automotive accessories, said Vorayuth’s Ferrari had sustained moderate damage, which means it was going at no more than 70 to 80kmph when it hit the motorbike. 

February 26: Charges filed against the accused include reckless driving causing damage to others or death, and not stopping to help the victim. 

Police decided not to pursue the charges of driving recklessly under the influence resulting in damages or death and speeding because the person who could have made the accusation is dead and speeding charges do not apply as the accused had had a drink after the accident and could not have been speeding. 

March 1: Police delivers a report to the public prosecutor, who receives it officially on March 4.

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