Deputy PM Denies Rumours That His Family Had Influence Over Decision to Drop Charges

Red Bull Heir Hit and Run

On Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon denied speculation that his family had influence over the decision to drop the manslaughter charge against Red Bull heir Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya in June.

According to media reports, Gen Wongsuwon’s brother, Admiral Sitthawat, was chairman of the now-dissolved National Legislative Assembly (NLA) committee when Mr Yoovidhya ‘s lawyer, Samak, petitioned it to have the charge dropped.

The reports said the committee later asked prosecutors to send Yoovidhya ‘s case file back to the police to reconsider his indictments, citing new witnesses. The move effectively killed the case against the young heir.

“My family has never known Mr Yoovidhya’s family,” Gen Wongsuwon said. “Personally, I have never known him.”

He said the accusation that Adm Sitthawat was involved in the decision to drop the charges against Vorayuth was surprising because Adm Sitthawat did not have the power to do so.

Mr Samak, Vorayuth’s lawyer, previously petitioned the panel to provide justice and postpone forwarding the Office of Attorney-General’s prosecution files to court.

Gen Prawit stressed neither he nor any member of the Prawit family could have forced the charges to be dropped.

Vorayuth was accused of killing Pol Snr Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert, a policeman riding a motorcycle, during a hit-and-run incident involving his Ferrari on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok, on Sept 3rd, 2012.

Vorayuth was charged with speeding and failing to stop, but the indictments were dropped after exceeding the statute of limitations. Vorayuth was also charged with reckless driving that resulted in death, but that charge was dropped by prosecutors in June.