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Second autopsy requested in Red Bull witness’s death

Jack Burton

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Second autopsy requested in Red Bull witness’s death | Thaiger
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

  1. Avatar

    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.

Chiang Mai

Officials in Chiang Mai and Hua Hin express concern amid rapid rise in infections

Maya Taylor

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Officials in Chiang Mai and Hua Hin express concern amid rapid rise in infections | Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

Health officials in the northern province of Chiang Mai and the western province of Prachuap Khiri Khan are on high alert amid a surge in Covid-19 cases. Prachuap Khiri Khan has now reported 334 cases, with infections rising by 141 yesterday. The outbreak is primarily centred around the Hua Hin district, with provincial health official Suriya Khuharat saying most people contracted the virus after attending a concert at the Maya Exclusive Pub on March 30.

Anyone who is concerned they may be infected can receive a free Covid-19 test at either Prachuap Khiri Khan or Hua Hin hospitals. The Bangkok Post reports that, in the last few days, around 500 people a day have visited Hua Hin Hospital for testing.

Hua Hin district and health officials have filed a police complaint against the owners of the Maya Pub, who are accused of violating the emergency decree and disease prevention measures. The March 30 concert is thought to be behind the surge in infections in the seaside district, with over 90% of cases linked to the pub. The chain of transmission is believed to have originated with 1 customer who attended the concert after travelling from Bangkok. The woman is an employee at the Krystal Club in Thong Lor, itself at the centre of a Covid cluster.

Meanwhile, in Chiang Mai, health officials say a surge in infections, now exceeding 200 a day, is causing great concern. Yesterday, the northern province reported 260 new cases, with public health chief Chatuchai Maneerat admitting the surge could lead to a shortage of hospital beds.

“Currently we have 1,000 beds in the province’s field hospital and that may not be sufficient. So, the province’s communicable disease control panel has decided to add another 1,000 beds.”

Despite the rise in infections, the Department of Disease Control says there are currently no plans for a national lockdown, given that other provinces are not as severely affected. Opas Karnkawinpong from the DDC says the most important thing is for people to work from home and avoid social gatherings until at least the end of April.

“People are asking if there will be a lockdown. I’d say that a lockdown is the last resort if virus transmissions show no signs of letting-up. Activities that draw large crowds pose the greatest risk and should be avoided until the end of this month at least.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

UPDATE: Field hospitals being established in Covid hot zones around Thailand

Tim Newton

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UPDATE: Field hospitals being established in Covid hot zones around Thailand | Thaiger

UPDATE: The field hospital in Bangkok’s Bang Bon district, west of the Chao Phraya river, had its first 10 Covid patients today. The director of the medical services office of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration says that the 10 patients into the makeshift hospital, located at the Chalerm Phra Kiat Stadium, will enable assessment of the performance by the medical team, before more patients arrive – Thai PBS World

ORIGINAL STORY: Despite the confident posture and Songkran going ahead, amid restrictions, there is a lot of background activity which suggest the authorities are getting ready for a surge of new infections at the end of the Songkran break, officially this Thursday (but in reality, next Sunday at the end of the weekend when most people who travelled home will return for a resumption of work).

The Thai lunar new year celebrations – Songkran – are the largest mass movement of Thais each year, a source for a huge leap in road deaths and accidents. And, this year, a potential super-spreader event.

Quietly, at least 3,000 extra beds have been prepared in 10 field hospitals around Bangkok. The government has also confirmed that additional field hospitals are being set up in other potential ‘hot zones’, including Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chonburi and Hua Hin. Some of them were set up last year, and since closed, and now being prepared for new positive infections.

One Thai person who had been in one of the field hospitals put together a check-list of things to take IF you end up as an invited ‘guest’ HERE.

The CCSA say they are looking for additional beds in hotels and previous state quarantine facilities (where repatriating Thais were housed for their free quarantine) to be used if needed.

This year’s Songkran had bad timing, coming just a week after a number of major clusters were identified around some of Bangkok’s popular nightlife areas in 3 key inner city districts. Even before Songkran these isolated clusters had already spread into the provinces. In the weekend before Songkran the government had already listed 37 provinces which had instigated some form of paperwork or restrictions for people who had been in any of the 3 Bangkok districts.

The government also leapt on the source of the new outbreaks – bars, clubs and entertainment venues – and promptly shut them down for at least 2 weeks. At this stage it looks likely that that ban will be extended beyond the 2 weeks and, depending on the extent of new infections following the Songkran holiday, additional restrictions will also be added.

Even today the Civil Aviation Authority published a number of new in-flight restrictions for passengers – another blow to the hard-hit domestic aviation sector.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Chiang Mai: Covid-19 cancels many Songkran events

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Chiang Mai: Covid-19 cancels many Songkran events | Thaiger
PHOTO: Songkran Day at Chiang Mai Wall won't be the same this year.

After a surge in new Covid-19 infections, Chiang Mai health officials decided to cancel Songkran celebrations and implement containment measures. As the virus spreads through Thailand, 281 new infections were just diagnosed on Sunday, reported in Monday’s daily Covid-19 statistics. These infections bring the total for the month of April to 662 people. With this outbreak spreading wider and faster than the first 2 waves of Covid-19, authorities are taking actions to try and limit the spread of new cases in the area, including the difficult decision to cancel some of this week’s scheduled Songkran festival celebrations.

Since the third wave of infections began last week, infection rates are growing and yesterday was the highest number of reported new cases yet. To combat the Covid-19 outbreak, Chiang Mai officials have closed all entertainment venues until April 23, cancelled many of the events planned for Songkran, and toned down the remaining activities. Even the traditional Songkran alms-offering ceremony at Tha Phae Gate had to be called off.

The cancellations due to Covid-19 outbreaks have hurt Chiang Mai, a popular tourist destination for Thais and international travellers alike, where Songkran is usually a booming holiday period. Many tourists have already cancelled their trip, and for those who do still come from Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, and Samut Prakan, a 14-day self-quarantine has been ordered, as well as registration through the CM Chana mobile app.

For those already in Chiang Mai who have spent time in entertainment venues, health authorities issued a warning and asked people who attended several venues to get tested for Covid-19. The 10 venues currently identified as high risk are as follows:

DC Chiang Mai
Ground Consol’s Garden
Infinity Club
Living Machine
Phor Jai Bar
Tawan Daeng
Tha Chang Cafe
Too Nice Nimman
Valentine’s Karaoke
Warm Up Cafe Chiang Mai

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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