Today the investigating panel’s report was discussed by the cabinet and made public with a press conference given by Mr Vicha Mahakhun. The panel chairman claimed that he clearly established that a vast conspiracy was afoot from the beginning to thwart the course of justice in favour of the billionaire’s son which led to at least ten senior officials to be complicit in eventually laying the blame on the victim of the crime, a truly perverse outcome. Mr Vicha has called for further investigation into the wrongdoing of all involved. At the very least, they should be removed from their positions on moral grounds. He also revealed that there was a link between Mr Vorayuth and key witness, Mr Jaruchart Maadthong, killed in a controversial motorcycle accident at the end of July. Mr Jaruchart’s mobile phone was stolen after his death and had its data deleted.
The Chairman of a committee set up by the Prime Minister, Prayut Chan ocha, to get to the bottom of the ‘Boss’ Vorayuth scandal has suggested that a charge of murder should have been considered, at the time, against the scion of one of Thailand’s wealthiest families in relation to the death of an on-duty police officer, Sergeant Major Wichian Klanprasert, in September 2012. Today, he told the media that there was evidence of an ‘intention to kill’ in the case that had been either overlooked or sidelined by police and prosecutors. He decried, in the strongest possible terms, the attempt by senior officials in a vast illegal conspiracy to clear the now fugitive from justice of any responsibility and further, to frame the 47-year-old policeman for his own death.
A hard-hitting report on the case of Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya was reviewed by the cabinet on Tuesday. Afterwards, the chairman of the commission of inquiry set up to investigate the case, lacerated the conduct of the criminal investigation into the death of police officer Sergeant Major Wichian Klanprasert at the hands of the scion of what is thought to be Thailand’s second-wealthiest family on the 3rd September 2012.
Mr Vicha Mahakhun even went so far as to suggest on Tuesday that the circumstances of the case raised the possibility that murder charges could have been sought against the fugitive who fled Thailand in April 2017 after lawyers on his behalf successfully held off any charges against him for over four and a half years.
The 35-year-old Red Bull heir then fled on a private jet just two days before the charges were handed down by the Bangkok South Criminal Court and an arrest warrant was issued for him.
Report outlines a conspiracy at the highest levels of government to clear Yoravuth ‘Boss’ Yoovidhya
Mr Vicha has already told the public that all the claims in his report can be substantiated and that the report details a conspiracy to thwart Thailand’s justice system in a vast, coordinated effort to avoid the wealthy young man being brought to justice.
In his comments on Tuesday at Government House, Mr Vicha suggested that at least 10 senior officials in the government, who were tasked with the prosecution of the case, are implicated in his report.
He has called for the findings of his commission to be investigated and charges brought against people.
Remove then from their posts under moral law
The Chairman conceded that there may not be sufficient evidence to convict the people concerned in the wrongdoing of a crime before the courts but has called on the government to have these individuals removed or suspended from their posts on purely moral grounds.
Mr Vicha repeatedly stressed that what has happened in this case runs counter to the laws of natural justice.
The Chairman has also suggested that the case and investigation against Mr Vorayut were ‘poisoned’ by the machinations of this cabal.
‘A poisoned tree produces poisoned fruits,’ he observed and said that the corrupt and contradictory nature of the evidence which has disturbed the public, is no accident. It is the result of the illegal attempts to pervert the course of justice.
On-duty police officer blamed and prosecuted for his own death according to panel boss’s scathing view
Mr Vicha said that the serving police officer, 47-year-old Wichian Klanprasert, who may well have been murdered by Mr Vorayuth, was instead blamed and prosecuted for his own death by the officials who should have been seeking justice on his behalf.
A report circulated online days after the Red Bull boss was cleared of all charges in public by a police spokesman on July 24th last, presented the evidence on which Mr Nate Natsuk, the assistant attorney general at the Office of Criminal Litigation in Southern Bangkok, dropped the last remaining charge against Mr Vorayuth at the end of June.
That evidence did suggest, based on the new testimony of two eyewitnesses and the revised speed of the Ferrari indicated by Police Colonel Thanasit Taengchan of the Office of Police Forensic Science, that Mr Vorayuth could not have been responsible for the death.
The senior policeman was assisted by an expert from the Automotive Safety and Assessment Engineering Centre at King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology, Mr Saiprasit Kerdniyom.
The pair concluded that the Ferrari was not speeding and eyewitnesses suggested that the motorbike policeman had been driving dangerously.
Vicha – the dead policeman could not defend himself and there was some evidence of ‘intention to kill’
That scenario was rejected out of hand by Mr Vicha on Tuesday who observed the Police Sergeant Major Wichian was a dead man who could not defend himself.
He indicated that there were comments and other indicators on file to suggest that not only was the Ferrari speeding but that Mr Vorayuth intended to kill the policeman. There was some evidence to suggest an ‘intention to kill’, claimed Mr Vicha.
He drew attention to the fact that the body of the unfortunate policeman was dragged for 100 metres by the Ferrari supercar and that the linear impact of the car to the motorbike was from right behind and not at an angle.
Definite link between Mr Vorayuth and the now-dead witness in Chiang Mai claimed on Tuesday
Mr Vicha also revealed that there was evidence to suggest that there was a definite link between Mr Vorayuth and one of the key witnesses in the case, Mr Jaruchart Maadthong, who died in controversial circumstances in Chiang Mai at the end of July in another motorcycle accident.
The Chairman drew attention to the fact that police in Chiang Mai had arrested and charged a man who worked with the witness, with stealing his mobile phone and deleting its data.
This is now being retrieved by police in the northern city.
Both police officer and technical expert sought witness protection from the Ministry of Justice
Mr Vicha has also revealed that both Police Colonel Thanasit and his expert from King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology have made approaches to the Ministry of Justice seeking witness protection out of fears for their safety over this matter.
At the hearing of the committee, the policeman recanted his new evidence and reverted to his original testimony that the car was speeding.
Mr Saiprasit also accepted that he had never been at the scene of the incident and that he did have access to critical information to reach his conclusion, which was the basis for the decision to drop the case against Mr Vorayuth nearly eight years after the death of the policeman in the early hours of Monday morning the 3rd September 2012.
Failure to bring ‘Boss’ to court quickly or within 6 months was the key to the success of the conspiracy
Mr Vicha, like the authors of other reports into the scandal, slammed the Royal Thai Police for its role in this affair. He drew attention to the failure of police to bring Mr Vorayuth before a court quickly after he was first taken into custody and tested.
This was followed by a full 6 months of failure to arrest and charge which allowed lawyers, paid for by his family, to file no less than 13 motions to drop the case and question the evidence with the Office of the Attorney General thereby successfully delaying all efforts to charge him.
After he was finally charged in 2017, he fled Thailand.
Finally, a 14th application to have the case reviewed was taken up by assistant attorney general Nate Natsuk who was specially appointed to review such cases in the Office of the Attorney General.
Mr Natsuk has always defended his role in deciding to drop the case against Mr Vorayuth at the end of June this year based on the case as outlined in the file before him. A case which pointed the finger of blame at the victim in his own death.
Case should be handed to the DSI and an investigation launched against officials complicit in the affair
Following today’s report, Mr Vicha is calling for the criminal case against Mr Vorayuth to be handed over to the Department of Special Investigation.
He is also calling for the statute of limitations to be amended and the term limits applied to be suspended if a suspect has fled Thailand and its justice system deliberately to evade the courts as in this case.
The anti-corruption campaigner, who has been clearly moved by the findings of the investigation he has successfully overseen, has also suggested that it may well be that Mr Vorayuth will ultimately benefit from the conspiracy and actions taken by officials abusing the public’s trust. He may, in fact, successfully avoid prosecution.