Thai prosecutors will issue an arrest warrant tomorrow for Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya, 28, who failed to appear to hear charges against him in a fatal hit-and-run case, Reuters reported today.
Vorayuth, the grandson of the late Red Bull co-creator Chaleo Yoovidhya, is accused of causing the death of a policeman while driving his Ferrari on the morning of September 3, 2012.
He was due to hear the charges against him this morning, with the deadline extended to 4pm today when he didn’t show up. When he hadn’t appeared by 4pm Thai authorities announced they will issue a warrant for his arrest.
He faces charges of causing death through reckless driving and failing to stop and assist the victim.
Reuters adds that the energy drink heir’s lawyer said he had left the country on Thursday and was unable to return due to illness.
The case has come under intense media scrutiny and has been closely followed on blogs and social media. Thailand has a poor reputation for bringing wayward elite to justice, with many cases in the past being swept under the carpet.
However, the Thai public hasn’t let this one lie and prosecutors have pushed forward with the investigation despite numerous delays and the Yoovidhyas paying $97,000 to the victim’s family, raising the question whether the days of impunity for Thailand’s elite are drawing to a close?
Thailand-based travel blogger Richard Barrow comments:
Maybe in the old days they could get away with living outside the law. But with rise of social media, the time of these dinosaurs is over.
— Richard Barrow (@RichardBarrow) September 2, 2013
Thai authorities are seeking an arrest warrant for an heir to the Red Bull energy drink fortune after he failed to appear for his indictment in a hit-and-run case in which a policeman was killed.
Prosecutor Ruecha Krairiksh says Vorayuth Yoovidhya showed an intention to flee by not appearing for the indictment Monday.
Defense lawyer Thanit Buakeaw said Vorayuth was on a business trip in Singapore and could not return because he fell ill.
It is the sixth time Vorayuth’s indictment has been postponed since he allegedly hit the officer with a Ferrari and dragged his body down a Bangkok street last September.
A charge of speeding will be dropped because the statute of limitation is expiring. He still faces a charge of causing death by reckless driving.