Deputy Thai Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon (centre) delivers a speech in Thailand's southern province of Narathiwat on April 6, 2016. (MADAREE TOHLALA / AFP)
BANGKOK - Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon on Wednesday categorically denied that his family has had personal relationships with that of Vorayuth Yoovidhya, the fugitive heir to the Red Bull energy drink manufacturer.
Prawit said neither he nor his younger brother, Senator Sittawat Wongsuwon, nor he himself fostered any personal relationships with Red Bull manufacturer Chalerm Yoovidhya
Prawit said neither he nor his younger brother, Senator Sittawat Wongsuwon, fostered any personal relationships with Red Bull manufacturer Chalerm Yoovidhya, the father of Vorayuth who allegedly drove his Ferrari car in a recklessly, causing the death of a motorcycle-driving policeman in the Thonglor area of Bangkok in 2012.
Prawit maintained that his family did not personally know the Yoovidhya family and that the Yoovidhyas never asked for their help.
Sittawat, during his time as head of a legal and police affairs committee of the now-defunct National Legislative Assembly, never offered to give undue favors to the Red Bull heir involving the fatal, reckless driving case, according to Prawit.
However, the deputy prime minister admitted the Red Bull manufacturer gave a 300 million baht (about US$9.52 million) cash donation for the current government to use in stemming the pandemic earlier this year.
The Office of the Attorney General had dropped the reckless driving charge against Vorayuth, who fled the country and has remained overseas, prompting the police to revoke all arrest warrants earlier issued against him.
The waiver of the criminal charge against the Red Bull heir has drawn widespread outrage on social media, pressing the authorities to clarify their reasons for not proceeding with the case in court.
An ad hoc police committee was set up on Sunday at the order of police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda to find facts pertaining to the case in a 15-days time.
HONG KONG NEWS