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Second autopsy requested in Red Bull witness’s death

Jack Burton

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PHOTOS: The Pattaya News

Police in Chiang Mai have asked the family of a key defence witness in the ongoing case of Vorayuth Yoovidhya, heir to the Red Bull drinks empire, to delay the cremation of his body. 40 year old Jaruchart Martthong was killed in a motorbike accident on Thursday involving another driver. Chiang Mai police say CCTV footage shows that Jaruchart tried to overtake a second motorbike but failed and lost control of his own motorbike. Alcohol was found in both driver’s systems according to a police statement.

Jaruchart’s witness testimony in the 2012 hit-and-run case involving Vorayuth, which has captivated the country since prosecutors dropped all charges, alleged that Vorayuth was not speeding during the incident, contradicting scientific evidence according to forensic investigators at the scene. The incident resulted in the death of a 47 year old police officer.

Vorayuth later fled the country after missing multiple court appearances. Last week, it came to light that the Office of the Attorney General dropped the charges in the case. One of the main reasons was the alleged testimony of Jaruchart, and a second major witness, who is still alive.

This morning, Chiang Mai police requested that Jaruchart’s adoptive parents order a second autopsy. This request came on the day of the scheduled cremation and religious ceremony. This comes as a panel of prosecutors with the OAG investigate whether the dropping of charges was legal. Police had previously stated that no foul play or evidence of any cause other than the motorbike accident caused Jaruchart’s death.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha himself has ordered the body to be kept for further examination to determine the exact cause of the death. The government’s deputy spokesperson says the the PM wants to clear any public suspicion about Jaruchart’s death, but will not interfere with course of justice.

“The Prime Minister has reiterated the Government’s commitment to ensuring justice in this case, and those who committed wrongdoing must be dealt with accordingly.”

Second autopsy requested in Red Bull witness's death | News by Thaiger

SOURCES: The Pattaya News| Thai PBS World

 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Toby Andrews

    Monday, August 3, 2020 at 12:00 am

    The PM is just creating a reputation of a fair and just system administered by himself and the police.
    I doubt there was foul play.
    This man has already made a statement backing all the supposed defence of the boy racer, so why would the police or government agent engineer the prime defence witness’s death?
    Especially as the PM’s political party has received such a large donation from the family of the boy racer, which some would say would persuade them to support the defence of the boy racer.
    If he was a witness for the prosecution, well then the PM and police might be under suspicion.

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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