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Burmese murder suspects to be detained for twelve more days

On Wednesday a police request to hold the two Myanmar suspects in the Koh Tao murder case was approved by the Koh Samui Provincial Court. Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin, were taken from the Koh Samui District Prison to the court for a hearing into the extension of their detainment. The pair, both aged 21 face charges of murder with the intent to conceal a crime and avoid prosecution as well as illegal entry into Thailand.

Tawatchai Siangjaew, the Regional Public Prosecution 8 deputy director general said that prosecutors would hold a video conference with staff at the British Embassy in Bangkok to inform the victims parents of their legal rights in the case. According to the head of the prosecution team the parents of the British victims are legally entitled to file both civil and criminal lawsuit with the Thai courts themselves as well as being entitled to become co-plaintiffs or demand compensation from the defendants.

Deputy commissioner of Provincial Police 8, Pol Maj Gen Praween Pongsirin said that the investigators had already submitted the additional information requested from the prosecutors who will decide whether to indict the two suspects, he went on to say that the investigation report was complete. A pre trail witness interview took place at the court on Tuesday with three Myanmar nationals. One of the three, Muang Muang, 23, a roommate of the two suspects said he did not see the killings, it was reported that he was questioned for six hours by lawyers on both sides. The two other witnesses Aung Lyn Saw 22 and Nee Nee Augn 26, both migrant workers on Koh Tao were taken to the court for an hour and questioned in regards to victim David Millers phone.

In the meantime the outpouring of support for the two suspects continues to escalate with nongovernmental organizations joining forces with civil society inside Myanmar to ensure Zin and Win receive a fair trial, they could face the death penalty if found guilty. They are receiving support from Myanmar and Ngo’s in Thailand, help is also being extended to their parents to ensure they can travel to Thailand to see their sons.

A report in the Eleven Myanmar said “My son is not aggressive,” Tun Tun Htaik, the father of Win Zaw Htun said. He said his son’s ethics, lack of history of violence and the fact that he was far smaller that the young British man killed made it impossible for him to believe that Win Zaw Htun was a murderer and a rapist.“I know my son. He has always behaved well,” Tun Tun Htaik added.

“After we visited to investigate the case, we could see that it was obvious that the two young men are not the killers,” Htoo Chit, executive director of Thai-based NGO Foundation for Education and Development, told a press conference in Yangon yesterday.  “They are not guilty of the charges against them,” he said, adding that his and other groups that assist migrant workers would ensure they received assistance.

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