CHIANG MAI — Police on Thursday ruled out the possibility that a key witness in billionaire Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya’s hit-and-run case might have been murdered.
Regional police commander Prachaub Wongsuk said the new autopsy results found no trace of any suspicious substance apart from alcohol in Jaruchart Mardthong’s body, who died at hospital after crashing with another motorbike driver last month. Investigators identified his death as a drunk driving accident, he added.
“All the evidence suggested that it was an accident,” Lt. Gen. Prachaub said. “We also found no evidence which suggests the driver of the other motorcycle knew Jaruchart before they met.”
The motorcyclist was identified as Somchai Tawino, but charges have yet to be filed for his involvement in the accident, police said.
Jaruchart was one of the two witnesses who told investigators that Vorayuth was driving under 80 kmph when his Ferrari crashed into a patrol motorcycle and killed Sgt. Maj. Wichian Klanprasert in Bangkok in 2012.
Their testimonies are believed to have contributed to prosecutors’ decision to drop the charges against Vorayuth.
His abrupt death during renewed scrutiny over the case prompted many to suspect a conspiracy was involved. Even PM Prayut Chan-o-cha himself instructed authorities to secure Jaruchart’s body for further examination earlier this month, just hours before he was due to be cremated.
Prachaub said a high concentration (218 milligrams) of alcohol was found in his bloodstream.
Investigators will also question Pasin Akaradejthanachot, an aide to the former Chiang Mai Senator Chuchai Lertpongadisorn, who stole and destroyed Jaruchart’s phone from the hospital.
Pasin had said to police that he was concerned about the photos of him taken with Jaruchart, which could have affected his campaign for a local election.