By the six o’clock BBC evening news in London yesterday the mews that Wai Phyo and Zaw Lin had been found guilty and sentenced to death for the Koh Tao murders was well down the agenda, coming after a car crash with one fatality, floods in Cumbria and a bus crash with no fatalities.

Any doubt about the prosecution of the two Burmese was dealt with by the brother of David Miller who was murdered together with Hannah Witheridge on the Thai island of Koh Tao was swiftly dealt a blow with the statement by Miller’s brother, read outside the court.

“We believe the result today represents justice for David and Hannah,” said Mr. Miller. “It is our opinion that the evidence against Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo is overwhelming. They raped to satisfy their selfish desires and murdered to cover up that fact. They have shown no remorse. We believe the correct verdict has been reached.”

The defence, were, well defensive, Andy Hall of the Migrant Workers Rights Association who had been coordinating with pro-bono lawyers from the Lawyers Council of Thailand, prefaced his comments by saying that he ‘respected the decision of the court’ a phrase I have had to use in the past to preface remarks about an abominable injustice in the Thai courts.

“The defence team position is that the DNA evidence as presented at trial was unreliable and was not collected, analysed and reported in accordance with international standards like ISO17025. This is the same for other case evidence. Significant evidence like Hannah’s clothes etc. were not even presented in court and/or even perhaps tested by the investigation officials.  

The prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused were involved in the horrific crimes of which they were charged. On that basis the charges should have been dismissed and the now convicted men released. We will appeal and remain confident in the Thai legal system to deliver justice.”

To criticize the judgment could of course have warranted the critic a jail sentence. This is not allowed in Thailand. It is contempt. Judges who may be under 30 years old with only 2 years  law practice behind them have some of the same status as royalty, or even deity.  They are not addressed ‘M’Lud’ but “I am dust under your feet”.

Nevertheless the defence statement had all the aura of appearing to get the defendants off on technicalities. In the Thai system of justice and prosecution presentation gaffs and cockups, and even false testimony, are common.

It does not necessarily mean the defendants are innocent (though they would be acquitted in the west). It merely means that the police and prosecutor are often unaware of laws, procedures, or often just plain lazy and expect to be believed in a system where guilt is assumed before innocence.

It is good that the parents of the victims seem to have closure. It would be horrific if that closure came at the cost of two innocent lives.

I personally have never believed the police case. That was not because I was sold on the appearance of the two young Burmese who looked like they could hardly lift a hoe against the victims (and there was no evidence they did).

No this is south East Asia. The promotion of Buddhist ideals and love of all human creatures does exist but when murders happen they can be of the most obscene and violent in their nature; – frighteningly savage. And the Thai murder rate knocks spots off British statistics.

From a western point of view George Orwell can testify how inscrutable the Burmese can get. Any inmate of a Thai jail can tell you how savage the Thais can be.

In earlier days I might have said: “Time will tell”.  I won’t because time will not tell on this one. That’s just the way it is.  “Truth will never die,” goes the Thai expression, “but if you tell it you may certainly die.”

No one in Thailand is going to come crawling out of the island jungle to reverse a court judgment.

Politically the problem of the Koh Tao murders is solved.

Does Scotland Yard have the answer? Are they sure that the DNA of the Burmese was found in Hannah and that no hamming was going on?

Perhaps now the trial is over they can say – after all that is not going to have a ‘Chilling Effect’ on Anglo-Thai police relations, which is why their report was not made available.

If the Thai police have laid a false DNA trail it will not be the first time. They were caught in the act trying to extract semen from a Burmese tour guide during the investigation of Kirsty Jones, who was murdered and raped in Chiang Mai nearly 15 years ago.

When that act was exposed their investigation appeared to collapse.   And that’s just another or many murders in which it looks like time will not tell in Thailand.

And like the cases of Hannah and David Kirsty’s mother knows that there are people out there who know the killer.


  1. From day 1 i have dropped my jaw, and still can't get it back to a normal position, knowing all to well that IF this is truly a cock-up game, i leave.
    Since the Law/justice is my only Shepard here in Thailand, otherwise we are random fair game.

    1. Are you 100 percent certain we can add your statement to death and taxes? The big three?

      99.9 percent certainty won't cut it..

      I only think it was someone else, unlike you, who are "certain." I'm only certain about our own demise..

      And the vagaries of uncertainty..

    1. Agree, (once past the flowery imagery.) But was Hannah "repeatedly raped..", or not? Did not the British coroner say no signs of forced sex were present- but if she were incapacitated, and not resisting, wouldn't that preclude the coroners findings?
      Will we ever be able to read these documents for ourselves?

  2. If this verdict is upheld there should be little doubt that a quadruple murder of foreign nationals will have been carried out by savage Thai islanders and the putrid Thai justice system.

    1. How has this been lost and forgotten so quickly?


      "The police have arrested a suspect in the murder of two British tourists in Koh Tao and are still hunting for a second suspect who has escaped into Bangkok.

      Eighth Region Police Command commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Panya Mamen identified the first suspect as Mon.

      He is the brother of a village headman in Koh Tao.

      He was arrested after evidence which police collected were examined and proved he was involved, he said.

      He also said another suspect is also a son of that village headman. But he has already to Bangkok.

      He said both suspects were captured by CCTV cameras and the police have gathered enough evidence to implicate them in the murders."

      Show that to the booddy Millers. And, BTW, the 'dust under your feet' in the first part of the article does NOT refer to Judges but to the regent.

  3. This is absolute mis-judgement. These two people were scapegoats. We have full sympathy for the victims and their families however please do not be satisfied with this judgement. Try to find the real culprit who was the owner of hotel and his gangs.

  4. It was mis-judgement totally. These two people were scape-goats. I have full sympathy to the victims and their families but please do not satisfied that they had got the justice. They had been killed and then again lied by Thailand mobs. Try to find the true culprit of this murder.

  5. A mafia boss has paid to have his son kept out of this farce and let police set up up 2 innocent Burmese migrants in the name of Thailands tourisn. Tourists to Thailand rwmember that your entry to Thailand is the reason these kids were prosecuted

  6. Time for the Burmese embassy, dignitaries, diplomats, etc, to step up to the plate! This entire trial was a laughable and amateur /professional cock up for xenophobic Thai monkeys! The appeal will certainly have resounding effects to the Thai injustice system…. Guaranteed!!

  7. It was in the files and in the papers, that a musician named Sean McAnna was threatened by two locals and forced to admit the murder of D&H. Sean fled into the jungle, fearing for his life, and managed to get on the first boat in the morning off the island.

    I doubt, that these two locals wanted to save the a** of the 2B, but they must know something. I would even recommend, to pull a plastic bag over their head, to retrieve the answers, as this is obviously a common interrogation practice in Thailand.

    The appeal does need strong new evidence (if that will be accepted by the court), as this would be the only way for the judge in charge of the second decision, not to lose his face.

    On my last visit on Koh Samui I learned, that none of my acquaintances believed the "official story", and that on Koh Tao the Omerta is in place.

  8. And the possession of the victims cell phone by the perps means nothing?? And how the perps acted immediately in the next few days after the crime means nothing? You people need to consider these guys actually done it. Yea, the Thai cops are goofballs and unreliable…….but IMO, these guys done it.

Comments are closed.