House Grills Nate Over Red Bull Heir Case in First Public Appearance Since Charges Dropped

Deputy Attorney General Nate Naksuk

Deputy Attorney-General Nate Naksuk was grilled on Thursday during a joint sitting of two House committees that demanded to know why he did not indict Red Bull heir Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya.

Mr Naksuk told panel members questioning his judgement that his decision was above-board and said he welcomed any probe into his financial affairs. It was his first public appearance since sparking uproar by dropping the causing death by reckless driving charge against Vorayuth.

He also confirmed on Thursday he had tendered his resignation to protect the reputation of the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG), the agency he has served for 40 years.

The charge was dropped due to statements from specialists and witnesses who claimed Vorayuth’s Ferrari was travelling within the speed limit and that the policeman who was killed had cut in front of his vehicle.

The meeting was held jointly by the House committee on laws, justice and human rights chaired by Palang Pracharath Party MP Sira Jenjaka and the House committee on public independent organisations chaired by Jirayu Huangsap, a Pheu Thai Party MP.

Mr Naksuk said his decision was based on evidence in the police report and insisted all witnesses who testified about the car’s speed were legitimate.

According to Mr Naksuk, in the report, Pol Lt Col Thanasit Taengchan, from the Office of Police Forensic Science, who examined the scene of the accident in 2012, changed his statement and revised the Ferrari’s speed from 177kph to 79 kph.

Mr Naksuk said prosecutors were following due process when they agreed to consider Mr Vorayuth’s petitions for fair treatment. The OAG was criticised for allowing Vorayuth to exploit a technicality to drag out the probe by submitting a petition seeking fair treatment more than six times.

Asked about the role of a panel under the now-defunct National Legislative Assembly in the case, Mr Naksuk said the panel became involved after Vorayuth petitioned for fairness. The panel was accused of pressuring the police and the OAG to re-investigate the case leading to the dropping of the charge.

Meanwhile, at least 14 police were found sloppy in their handling of the probe into the hit-and-run case, according to a police panel. Pol Lt Gen Jaruwat Waisaya, deputy chairman of the panel, said the inquiry found the handling by 14 police involved in the case was flawed. For example, they failed to take the suspect’s urine sample for a drug test and did not issue an arrest warrant as recommended by prosecutors.

He said the national police chief would be asked to consider probes against them.