Thai prosecutor who dropped charges against fugitive Red Bull heir in hit-and-run case QUITS as police are given days to file new report in to how fast he was driving in 2012 Ferrari crash that killed cop
- Charges against Yoravuth ‘Boss’ Yoovid were controversially dropped last month
- The case has since been re-opened and prosecutor who dropped it has resigned
- Police have been given 10 days to present new findings on the 2012 collision
Thailand’s probe into a fugitive Red Bull heir accused of killing a policeman in a high-speed Ferrari crash has taken a fresh twist as a top prosecutor quit the case last night.
Charges against Yoravuth ‘Boss’ Yoovid over the 2012 collision were dropped last month, causing outrage in Thailand – but the case has since been re-opened and police have been given 10 days to present new findings.
Deputy attorney general Nate Naksuk, who made the decision to dismiss the case in June, has now resigned from the case while police mull new charges.
New evidence suggests Yoravuth was driving his Ferrari faster than previously thought, authorities say – while evidence of cocaine use has resurfaced after previously being disregarded.
Yoravuth – the grandson of Red Bull co-founder Chaleo Yoovidhya and heir to a $20billion family fortune – has failed to answer eight separate court summons and his whereabouts are currently unknown.
The case has long stirred anger in Thailand because of the perception that the kingdom’s powerful billionaire class is above the law.
Charges against Yoravuth ‘Boss’ Yoovid (pictured) over the 2012 Ferrari collision which killed a policeman in Thailand were dropped last month but the case has since been re-opened
Police officers look at the damaged Ferrari after the 2012 collision in Bangkok during an investigation which has dragged on for years
The attorney general’s office announced last night that it was investigating whether it broke the law by dropping charges against Yoravuth.
Naksuk has resigned as deputy attorney general to show his ‘spirit’ and allow himself to prove that he acted correctly, authorities said.
According to CNN, the attorney general’s office has given police 10 days to file a report on Yoravuth’s speed and possible cocaine use.
Vorayuth was accused of crashing the Ferrari into policeman Wichien Klanprasert and dragging his body along the Bangkok road, killing him, in September 2012.
The officer and his mangled motorcycle were dragged for several dozen yards before his body fell to the road.
Police followed a trail of fluid to the Yoovidhya family’s nearby property, where they found the car with a shattered windshield and damaged bumper.
A chauffeur was initially blamed for the collision, but Vorayuth later admitted to being the driver.
Previously, the speed of Vorayuth’s Ferrari at the time of the accident was said to be 50mph (80kph).
However, an expert opinion not previously included in the police report suggested that Vorayuth could have been driving as fast as 105mph (170kph).
‘This is new evidence according to the law,’ prosecutor’s office spokesman spokesman Prayut Phetkun said earlier this month.
Yoravurth (pictured second from right) has failed to answer numerous court summons and his current whereabouts are unknown
In April 2017, the Red Bull heir was seen leaving a £6.5million home in Knightsbridge, West London
In addition, traces of cocaine were detected in Vorayuth’s system after the accident, according to a police report.
Police told a parliamentary committee that they had not pressed drug charges because Vorayuth’s dentist said the cocaine was administered for dental treatment.
However, the attorney general’s office have now told police to re-investigate the cocaine issue.
The case has been widely seen as an example of how the rich and well-connected enjoy impunity from the law in Thailand.
The Yoovidhya family is listed by Forbes as the second-richest in Thailand, with an estimated wealth of $20.2billion.
In a further twist last month, a defence witness key to clearing Vorayuth’s name was himself killed in a motorbike accident in the northern city of Chiang Mai.
Charuchart Martthong had told investigators that Vorayuth was not speeding, an account apparently delivered years after the 2012 accident.
The probes launched by multiple Thai agencies would likely have seen the truck driver questioned again.
His sudden death on July 30 prompted Thailand’s premier Prayut Chan-o-cha to order a new autopsy.
The former army general last week urged calm from the public, calling for them to be patient for the results of the investigations.
The scene of the crash, with the damaged Ferarri and motorcycle, after the high-speed collision which killed a Thai policeman
Public outrage and calls for a boycott of Red Bull followed the announcement that charges were being dropped last month.
Police said warrants for Vorayuth’s arrest would be dropped and an Interpol red notice would be withdrawn.
Documents leaked to Thai media later claimed that two new eyewitnesses had come forward to say the crash was the policeman’s fault.
In addition, new expert witnesses had claimed that Vorayuth had not been driving over the speed limit, it was claimed.
‘This case is over,’ deputy police spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen told a news briefing at the time.
However, the police, the government and the attorney general’s office have all since announced they will investigate.
Vorayuth missed eight summons to appear in court before authorities issued a warrant for his arrest, five years after the collision.
His current whereabouts are unknown – although he was seen in London in 2017 – and his Thai passports were subsequently revoked.
Voyaruth’s grandfather Chaleo founded Red Bull in 1987 after partnering with Austrian magnate Dietrich Mateschitz to adapt a drink popular among Thai labourers and taxi drivers.
Red Bull is credited with introducing Europe and North America to the concept of the energy drink, and now sells more than seven billion cans per year.
After gaining popularity in Europe, Red Bull entered the US market in 1997, beginning in California and later spreading out across the country.
Aside from its drinks empire, the firm has also become a major player in the sports world with its own Formula One team and a series of other franchises.
Chaleo was listed as the third richest person in Thailand at the time of his death in 2012, at the age of 88.
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