In Hannah Witheridge, Myanmar, Uncategorised by Andrew Drummond13 Comments


Thai police case against the alleged killers of two British backpackers in Thailand was dealt another devastating blow today after their key witness said he had no knowledge of the murder – even though he too was beaten by Thai police.

Ko Maung Maung, seated in blue, with Embassy officials and Thai Police – DVB

And Ko Maung Maung, 21, the supposed main prosecution witness being held under police protection to testify against his two Burmese friends, who are alleged to have killed Hannah Witheridge and David Miller, told Burmese Embassy officials today that he did not believe his friends were the killers.

In front of Thai Police and Embassy officials Ko Maung Maung, also known as  Ko Than Shwe, said he had been out drinking with his two friends Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin on Sairee Beach on the night of the murders.

In a statement broadcast on DVB News (Democratic Voice of Burma) lawyer Aung Myo Htan said: “He said he had his friend had bought three beers and one packet of cigarettes and then went home about 1 am.”

His friends decided to continue drinking, and when he woke up in the morning his two friends had returned. Everything seemed normal. They had no cuts or bruises. “I did not think my friends could have done that,” he said, referring to the brutal killings of Hannah, 23, from Great Yarmouth, and David, 24, from Jersey. The interview was witnessed by Second Secretary at the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok.

Ko Maung Maung also said he too was hit and threatened by a Rohingya roti-seller who acted as interpreter for the Royal Thai Police. Currently there is a major political conflict between Rohingyas in Arakan State, Burma, and ordinary Burmese.

Ko Maung Maung’s statement throws another spanner in the works of the Thai policed investigation which has been ridiculed worldwide.

 Bangkok Police Chief Somyot  Pumpunmuang told his investigating officers yesterday that had done ‘a perfect job’ in investigating the murders.

More allegations of beatings which already have been made by Burmese migrant labourers on Koh Tao and the two young accused men Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin, make the confessions to Thai police less and less credible. The two young Burmese men have already retracted their confessions – and Amnesty International has belatedly joined the protest.

British Ambassador Mark Kent has declined to comment on the investigation. It seems likely that defence lawyers will seek help from British police to secure a new test of the DNA of the killers.


  1. The Weapon

    Well the people running the CSI LA Facebook page were right onto this, even posting a picture of the 'translator' in his van selling roti at Big Buddha Beach Samui. They are pointing the fat finger at 3 people they think are lying, the bar manager, his copper mate and the son of the owner who was said to be in Bangkok at the time of the crime. For unknown reasons a lot of people don't like these people.

    Today they say a fellow student said nobody saw that kid until the 16th and a girl claimed he had scratches on his neck and arm when she saw him. That comment had over 10,000 likes showing a lot of Thais are following this case very closely. They keep putting up pictures of wounds inflicted by a 'push dagger' which is a blade that is used like a knuckle-duster where the blade comes out between the fingers. The other thing is the missing two minutes on the video CCTV which some are saying was cut because another person was on it. This could be cleared up by the police very quickly. These things start to become urban myths pretty quickly if not proved otherwise.

    Whilst I agree nobody should be targeted without clear evidence, it is very good to see some critical thinking from younger Thais. It also shows it is not a farang verus Thai thing at all. Most decent and normal Thais want justice as much as we all do and are not happy with the way the police have handled the case. Now this kid who was supposed to be the star witness is saying he thinks his mates didn't do it. Why is he being held for his own safety? Who does he need to be protected from if the offenders are locked up already?

  2. Martin Pappier

    What happened to the 2 (or was it 3) connected Thais on the Island who refused to give DNA tests?

    Is there anything more that SCREAMS guilt than refusing to give a DNA test? No.

    Well, in Thaialnd, yes.

    "Thais cannot do this crime."


  3. matt owens rees

    It's the eastern concept of not losing face, Martin. And a need to protect tourism and maintain the power of the poo mee ithipon. Prayuth needs, but probably cannot, go further.

  4. demdatsdoin

    some other gaping omissions by the bumbling Thai investigators:
    >>> murder weapon used on David. Yes, probably punch blade which can be held in palm of fist or between knuckles. Same wound which showed on Sean – where is he btw? I wish he could find a way to submit testimony, as he's probably the best witness to the crime. the micr-managed reenactment had Burmese scapegoat using a hoe to kill David. Even the cops admit the hoe wasn't David's undoing because it had none of David's blood on it. Have cops reconstructed the scene at the AC bar on that night? Have they interviewed those who were there? Do any of the suspects have prior records of violent behavior. If the headman's relatives and cop friends were suspects (they've been let off) cops could find if any had recently carried around a punch blade and could find whether any have a history of taking pretty young farang gals out on the beach at night and threatening/coercing them for sex. That would contribute to character assessment.

  5. Author
    Andrew Drummond

    Apologies – I have just deleted the last three comments by mistake. If you would like to re-submit please do. One was a Thai translation

  6. Peter Pan

    The current "care-taker – make all happy – temporary" regime does not need any opposition – they will disassemble themselves.by their own actions.Why on earth they cannot allow an independent body to cross-check the DNA results and – most important – to collect the needed DNA sample of the three well connected Thais?
    Alternatively – as it is all about money – close that Island for tourists and they will get the killers served in one week on a silver tray with a red ribbon around their waist and a carrot stuck up in their …whatever.

  7. matt owens rees

    I think, Peter, because they are not that powerful. I'd like to see an independent DNA being carried out and a different justice system. I'd like to have seen the changes they've made to corrupt practices being achieved without the need for a coup and being more widespread. But it doesn't work like that.

    AD highlighted the Kirsty Jones case and Tony Blair got personally involved. But to no avail. They didn't get action, Prayuth is up against the same situation. But he has started to do something about it. It may still go pear shaped – a coup replacing the current regime, a change of direction to a less anti-corruption regime without elections. But for the moment, polls show a high rating for this government from the Thai people. They see the current benefits. Maybe they have more faith in the future. I'll wait and see.

  8. Thai Silk

    The Guy in the cream shirt and trousers is the Rohingya roti-seller that is accused of hitting them. You can see him staring at the Burmese guy. He is in on most pictures inc some wearing a police polo shirt. Is it correct to still have him in on every interview intimidating the witness???

  9. Ian McFarland

    And this man is left in the 'care and safe custody' of the Thai police.

    May Buddha help him avoid accidents, urges to grab the gun of a police officer and sudden suicidal depression.

  10. Statmonkey

    "Alternatively – as it is all about money – close that Island for tourists and they will get the killers served in one week on a silver tray with a red ribbon around their waist and a carrot stuck up in their …whatever."

    Absolutely correct. I think it's easy to look through the wrong end of the telescope here though. After the tsunami I was amazed at how efficient and motivated the populace was to rebuild and rebrand. They were eager to show all was great on Phuket and in Khao Lak to the world and they were very scared that the goose laying the golden eggs had passed. They got it done in a heartbeat.

    If the westerners quit going to Phangnan and Koh Tao. If they threw one full moon party and no one came you would have your real investigation and results in a heartbeat. Unfortunately getting this demographic, 20 year olds looking for the party of their life, to vote with their morality, conscience and pocketbook is near impossible. If the backpackers, trustifarians and pleasure seekers started avoiding this area and took a stand this would be resolved in a minute. I really think just an organized protest that started to affect numbers would be enough. I have my doubts (based on the latest numbers that I have seen since the "solving" of this crime) that such will happen but it really is the one place those outside of the local power base really have any sway.

  11. HorseDoctor

    Everyone, please suggest just such a boycott statmonkey recommends in the foreign media comment sections on articles regarding this case.

  12. Thai Silk

    Really anyone who believes those 2 little guys managed to do all this is barking mad. this was committed by a group of people.

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