BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s prosecutor’s office on Thursday again postponed a hit-and-run indictment against an heir to a founder of the Red Bull energy drink over a 2012 incident in which a policeman died.
For the eighth time in the past year, Vorayuth Yoovidhya missed a scheduled appointment to be formally charged and taken to court by Thai prosecutors. This time because he was “away for business in England,” a spokesman for the office told a news conference.
Vorayuth’s lawyer declined to comment.
The case is being closely followed in Thailand, where there is a widespread belief that the rich and famous are treated more leniently by the legal system.
Prayut Bejraguna, deputy spokesman of the Office of the Attorney-General, said Vorayuth’s appointment had been postponed to April 27.
“We are aware of the urgency to deliver justice,” Prayut said. “In principle, we will certainly carry the case through before charges expire.”
Police accuse Vorayuth of running his Ferrari over a motorcycle policeman and leaving him in the road. Vorayuth initially faced four charges for the incident, but two have been dropped.
Vorayuth faces possible indictments for hit-and-run and for reckless driving causing death. He could be jailed for more than 10 years if found guilty of both.
No arrest warrant has been issued.
The hit-and-run charge would expire in September if there is no prosecution by then. The reckless driving charge will not expire until 2027.
(Reporting by Aukkarapon Niyomyat and Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Writing by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by Matthew Tostevin and Randy Fabi)