Fri, December 03, 2021

in-focus

Plan for new prosecution panel for ‘Boss’ case rejected, warrant on cocaine use sought


The Public Prosecution Commission rejected plans to set up another panel to look into Deputy Attorney-General Nate Naksuk’s decision to drop the reckless driving causing death charge against Red Bull scion Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya.

Athapol Yaisawang, the commission’s chief, said the idea was rejected on Tuesday (August 18) with five votes and nine abstentions. As for Nate’s decision to resign, Athapol said the Office of the Attorney-General has obviously not accepted the resignation yet, judging by the fact that Nate attended the commission’s meeting on Tuesday.

“We have reached a resolution by majority, which must be respected. A disciplinary committee can only be appointed by public prosecutors, and we are just a subcommittee making proposals on the deputy attorney general’s decision. A preliminary committee will be set up once new regulations are published in the Royal Gazette, unless the current committee appointed by the attorney general rules that Nate did nothing wrong,” Athapol said.

New arrest warrant for cocaine use


Investigating officers from the Metropolitan Police Division 5 joined their counterparts from the Thonglor Police Station to call on the court to issue an arrest warrant against Vorayuth for using cocaine, which falls under category 2 of narcotics. This charge is being considered after expert verification and additional evidence came to light. Police are also coordinating with other agencies to track down Vorayuth so he can be brought back to Thailand for prosecution.

Reason behind request for seven days
Assistant National Police chief Lt-General Jaruwat Wisaya is asking for an additional seven days for the investigation of police officers involved the case.
“Some officers may make many mistakes, while some may only make one mistake. I have found some charges against police officers to be redundant, while some had been fingered by the National Anti-Corruption Commission [NACC], but continued making so-called mistakes,” Jaruwat said.

Fear of added pressure

Assistant National Police chief Pol Lt-General Permpoon Chidchob and Pol Lt-Colonel Thanasit Taengchan, an officer from the Office of Police Forensic Science who inspected the hit-and-run site in 2012, were called in to testify in front of the fact-finding panel led by Vicha Mahakun on Wednesday. This panel had been set up by the prime minister to investigate the decision to drop charges against Vorayuth.

Thanasit is a key witness in the case, especially in relation to the speed at which Vorayuth was driving his Ferrari. In his testimony, he said he had provided information to the investigators only on February 26, 2016, and not on March 2, 2015 as claimed.

He also said he did not know Saiprasit Kerdniyom, an expert in automotive design and manufacturing, was involved in the Vorayuth case.

Saiprasit is apparently trusted by police because he had also provided information in relation to the case of construction tycoon Chuwong Sae Tang, who died in a car crash driven by former deputy commerce minister Banyin Tangpakorn.

Thanasit said he tried to change the speed in the case’s data files from 79 kilometres per hour as claimed by Saiprasit to 177km/h, which was surmised recently.

However, he said, other police officers said this change would only cause confusion.

“Pol Lt-Colonel Thanasit said he was concerned about his safety because he believes someone is following him and wants to pressure him. Though he won’t say who exactly is following him, Thanasit has just indicated that the person who brought Saiprasit into the picture was former National Police chief Pol Maj-General Somyot Poompanmuong. Hence, the panel will call the former police chief to testify on Thursday,” Vicha said.

Published : August 19, 2020

By : The Nation