Activist to sue Thai police over Red Bull fugitive’s escape from justice

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Political activist Srisuwan Janya will petition the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) today to take legal action against police handling the case involving Red Bull scion Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya.

Mr Srisuwan, who serves as the secretary-general of the Association to Protect the Thai Constitution, is accusing the police of negligence which he claims led to the statute of limitations on a hit-and-run charge against Mr Vorayuth expiring on Sunday before the suspect was brought to trial.

Now only one charge — reckless driving causing death — remains against the suspect, as all the others have expired with the passage of time.

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The 15-year statute of limitations from the date of the accident in 2012 means it is valid until Sept 3, 2027. It carries a maximum jail term of 10 years and/or a fine of up to 20,000 baht.

This is one of many legal challenges raised by Mr Srisuwan.

Last month he called on the NACC to probe Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, the deputy prime minister, and national police chief Gen Chakthip Chaijinda for the flight of fugitive ex-premier Yingluck Shinawatra.

Mr Srisuwan said the association will petition the NACC to investigate the chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB), the national police chief and prosecutors for dereliction of duty in letting Ms Yingluck, a criminal suspect, flee the country.

Meanwhile, Mr Vorayuth has remained free for five years since allegedly dragging a motorcycle police officer to his death after speeding into the man in his Ferrari near the Yoovidhya family home in Bangkok’s Thong Lor district.

Lt Somnuek Siangkong, a spokesman for the Office of the Attorney-General, said the expiration of the other charges would not have any impact on attempts to seek the extradition of Mr Vorayuth as public prosecutors have already indicted him.

MPB chief Sanit Mahathavorn said the Royal Thai Police have asked Interpol to issue an international alert or “red notice” to 190 member countries to hunt down Mr Vorayuth.

The fatal crash happened at 5.40am on Sept 3 when Mr Vorayuth, now 32, ran his 32-million-baht Ferrari into the rear end of a motorcycle driven by Thong Lor traffic cop Snr Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert, 47, on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok’s Watthana district.

The policeman’s body was dragged for about 200 metres, breaking his neck and other bones, according to reports.

Soon after the crash, a Thong Lor police inspector was transferred to an inactive post for allegedly attempting to detain a driver for the Yoovidhya family to make him a scapegoat.

Reports claim Mr Vorayuth fled Thailand in late April.

He was last spotted in Taiwan.

In the five years since, numerous attempts to have the young billionaire answer to the charges have failed, with his lawyers claiming he was ill or unavailable.

But investigations by The Associated Press show Mr Vorayuth has travelled in and out of Thailand frequently and often stays at a London residence owned by a company linked to the family business empire.

An arrest warrant was issued for Mr Vorayuth in April. – Bangkok Post

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