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Red Bull family sues for defamation after son’s hit and run incident

Red Bull family sues for defamation after son’s hit and run incidentLegacy

Chalerm Yoovidhya, the son of the Red Bull co-founder, has initiated legal proceedings against a TV presenter and former police lieutenant colonel for defamation, seeking compensation of 50 million baht. The accusations stem from statements implicating him in the alleged use of 300 million baht to sway favour towards his son, Vorayuth ‘Boss’ Yoovidhya, after a fatal hit-and-run incident.

Represented by attorney Ampol Kaewpan, Chalerm, a prominent Thai billionaire businessman, claims that TV host Ubonrat Thao Noi and Police Lieutenant Colonel Sanit Mahathavorn made defamatory statements on a television programme.

These statements accused Chalerm of using 300 million baht in lobbying efforts to assist his son, the Red Bull heir, Boss, in evading charges related to a fatal hit-and-run incident with a police officer, before fleeing the country in a private jet to avoid repercussions, in what critics may describe as impunity enjoyed by the super-rich of the kingdom.

The lawsuit alleges that aired content on February 29 by the TV host suggested that Chalerm’s alleged financial efforts failed to significantly aid his son’s legal situation.

The recorded audio and video clips were subsequently distributed on the social media platform TikTok, with over 1.4 million views, amplifying the reach of the allegations.

The legal petition argues that these statements have damaged Chalerm’s reputation and subjected him to public contempt and hatred.

Chalerm requests a public apology from the two defendants to be published on their respective social media platforms and the front page of major Thai news outlets for seven consecutive days, alongside the removal of the defamatory content.

The Criminal Court accepted the case, scheduling a preliminary examination hearing for September 2. Ampol emphasises that the damages sought are commensurate with Chalerm’s reputation and the seriousness of the allegations.

He further stated that there would be no settlement, indicating a firm commitment to pursue legal recourse against what his client perceives as distortions of facts surrounding his son’s case.

Ampol affirms that similar legal measures will be taken against individuals found to disseminate misleading information. Witnesses are prepared to testify at the forthcoming preliminary examination hearing, highlighting the gravity of the case, reported Khaosod.

This legal action underscores Chalerm’s determination to protect his family’s reputation and integrity, despite the clear objectivity of the facts surrounding the tragic incident, and Boss’ subsequent fleeing from the country.

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