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Top prosecutor in Red Bull hit and run case dismissed

The Public Prosecution Service Commission decided to dismiss former deputy attorney-general Nate Naksuk today (Wednesday), after finding him guilty of negligence in the performance of his duty in the handling of the high-profile hit and run case in which a Red Bull heir, Vorayuth Yoovidhya, is implicated.

Chairman of the Commission Patchara Yutithamdamrong said that they ruled that Nate did not exercise caution in considering the case and did not attach importance to all the files related to it, in a way which has caused serious damage to the state.

Nate was accused of not proceeding to prosecute the case against Vorayuth in court.

Patchara said that 14 members of the commission met today, with one absence, but only eight voted to fault Nate, with the remaining six abstaining because they were involved in the investigation of the former deputy attorney-general.

He explained that the commission did not find evidence of irregularities against Nate, just a failure to perform his duty properly and negligence in the performance of his duty, which is a serious disciplinary violation.

Since Nate has not committed any disciplinary violation before, the commission decided to dismiss him from the prosecutor service, said Patchara, adding that this is the conclusion of the disciplinary process.

He added, however, that Nate can appeal the commission’s ruling in the Administrative Court.

The hit and run case dates back to September 3rd, 2012, when Vorayuth, driving in a Ferrari on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok, allegedly crashed into a police officer, Wichian Klanprasert, as he was riding a motorcycle.

Multiple charges were filed against him, including speeding, reckless driving causing death to another person and fleeing the scene of an accident without helping the victim. Most of the charges were eventually dropped, due mainly to the expiration of statute of limitations or lack of sufficient evidence.

Two remaining charges still stand – drug abuse which is due to expire on September 3rd, 2022 and reckless driving causing death, which is due to expire on September 3rd, 2027.

The case prompted public outrage against authorities, police and prosecutors especially, for allowing the suspect to evade justice time and time again, including the issuance of an arrest warrant a few days after the suspect left the country and allowing him to postpone reporting to prosecutors repeatedly, further perpetuating the widespread belief in Thailand that the rich and powerful can get away with crimes.

Vorayuth is currently living abroad.

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