In Hannah Witheridge, murders, Uncategorised by Andrew Drummond2 Comments

 Defence team in Koh Tao Murders want DNA checked and how it was gathered checked

Defence lawyers for the two 21-year-old Burmese charged with the murder and rape of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on the Thai island of Koh Tao are to ask the court for a re-examination of DNA evidence which is being used to obtain the convictions.

They believe crooked Thai police anxious to close the case in the face of massive worldwide negative publicity switched the DNA evidence or rather introduced the DNA evidence of Wai Phyo and Zaw Lin into the scene of the crime exhibits.

Few people in Thailand believe that the two young Burmese committed the crime and that view is echoed internationally.  Thai Police have a history of blaming foreigners for ugly crimes which cause the country to lose face.

In the most notable case, the murder of backpacker Kirsty Jones in Chiang Mai in 2000, several foreigners were arrested; but when told the DNA of the killer rapist was Asian, the chief detective surmised that the foreinger must have gone out and bought it from a male prostitute.

A statement from the office of chief defence lawyer Nakhon Chompuchat and issued by Andy Hall of the Migrant Workers Rights Network issued today reads:

“At 9am on Thursday 30th April 2015, Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo, the Koh Tao murder case accused, will appear at Koh Samui court accompanied by their lawyers for a case hearing. The court recently appointed both prosecution and defense lawyers to attend this hearing to explain progress regarding preparation of case witnesses.  

‘The court will also at this hearing consider two important recent requests by the accused’s defense team that: (1) several items of the prosecution’s physical evidence are sent to the Ministry of Justice’s Central Institute of Forensic Science for re-examination; and (2) the Royal Thai Police provide additional information to the court and defence concerning details of analysis of case DNA evidence. 

The lawyers for the case accused recently submitted these two requests to the Koh Samui Court.  

However, judges have yet to issue an order and instead have requested during this hearing to question in detail the accused’s lawyers on these issues prior to deciding whether to approve or deny the requests. 

The court appointment for this case hearing on 30 th April 2015 has likely been called because the judges who will consider this case, scheduled to begin on 8th July 2015, want to ensure the case hearings are managed in a correct manner with speed, efficiency. and fairness in line with societal expectations for a fair trial that is also internationally accepted.”


  1. Tommy Weapon

    The entire Thai police force will be on trial in this case. The case was botched right from the start when suspects were seen trampling all over the crime scene with police mates. Countless stories were spread about that were nothing but nonsense. Even more sinister were claims by a taxi driver he was offered a large sum to finger some Burmese for the crime. The only real strong evidence the police have is DNA and people have absolutely no faith it was either collected or stored correctly.

    Then there was the issue of one senior policeman pointing to a number of suspects he said were clearly involved. He was quickly removed from the case and another senior policeman immediately steered the case towards the Burmese, even though it appeared they had ALREADY been DNA tested long before they were made prime suspects.

    The question is, if this is a frame up or reasonable doubt is found, will the Thai system admit its failings? Will police be held to account? Will the real culprits be exposed? On past cases the answer would be no. Thailand is too dysfunctional, too caught up in face saving and scape goating. Protecting the status quo and Thailand's perceived international reputation is far more important than justice being served it would seem.

    Recent cases have shown just how corrupt the Thai police really are. It's not just a case of a few rotten apples, corruption is endemic country wide. When I ask Thai people about this case they all say the same thing, even if these guys are scape goats, nobody cares as they are Burmese and nobody believes the system can be beat. "What can you do?" is the answer I hear daily when it comes to fighting corruption.

  2. D. Farang

    "What can you do? That's the answer I hear daily when it comes to fighting corruption."

    Good synopsis Tommy Weapon – because few folks want to be found face down in a ditch, with limbs and head conveniently removed for posterity.

    Scapegoats you say? Low balcony railings frequently come into play as convenient "scapegoats."

    Some decent people are thus "persuaded' to take a final "leap of faith" – to a "convenient" oblivion..

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