SENSATIONAL WITNESS BRIBERY AND COERCION ALLEGATIONS THROW SPANNER IN WORKS OF CONTROVERSIAL THAI MURDER INVESTIGATION.
BUT IT COULD BE ATTEMPT TO BLOW INVESTIGATION.
(Updated October 2014)
|Members of the SUN football team closely behind Hannah and friends|
Thai police investigating the killers of Britons Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on the island of Koh Tao offered the equivalent of £13,300 to a local taxi driver to be a false witness against a local football team, it was claimed today.
When the taxi driver refused they beat him up before releasing today at 6.30 pm, the taxi driver named as Pornprasit Sukdam,37, said.
After the ordeal which began at 1.30, Pornprasit reported the matter to the local district chief Kobchai Saowalak, asking for protection.
The district chief subsequently went public and issued a statement to police stating: ‘Please do not use violence to find a scapegoat’.
Police had told Pornprasit they wished to re-interview him tomorrow.
But the taxi driver could possibly be also deliberately putting a spanner in the works as the police close in.
Pornprasit told Thai journalists from ASTV-Manager online: “They said they would give me 700,000 baht to be a witness but I was not a witness. I never saw anything. Then they became angry.”
The figure of 700,000 Thai baht is the sum which was put up last week to find the killer and police may well have offered it and been angry at Sukdam’s lack of co-operation.
|Hannah and friends passing the same spot seconds before|
Pornprasit is a member of the Sun Service Football team which were playing on Koh Tao the day before the murder.
The theme that the murder could have been committed by a member of the football team was first mooted several days ago. But police reported that they had interviewed and cleared three suspects.”
However the Bangkok Post is quoting a police source that they have found a DNA match to the killer through an item
However Police General Panya Mamen, Head of Regional Police in Southern Thailand, has again stated that there were three men involved – two who raped Hannah and one who watched.
He has totally denied the latest allegations.
Lt Gen Kamrob Panyakeaw, head of the Police Forensic Institute in Bangkok said at the weekend that all said all the testing was blind.
“We are not in charge of the case investigation part, therefore we don’t get the reports of who the DNA we are testing belongs to.”
This however leaves control of the tests in the hands of one unit and takes away normal safeguards.
At the weekend Thai Police promised they would have a result by today. Now they have said it may be three more days. So far their suspects have included Burmese migrant labourers, British friends of David Miller, relatives of powerful local political figures, foreign backpackers, a mad foreign gay boyfriend of Miller, and now the football team has come into the limelight again.
Three members of the team were caught on CCTV walking behind Hannah and friends on the night she was murdered.