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Koh Tao murder, DNA and saving face – Forensic examinations UK Ltd

Forensic examinations UK have been closely following the Koh Tao murders and recently published this article airing their concerns about the DNA evidence.

Forensic examinations UK Ltd have been following this case with interest, particularly the concerns with DNA evidence.

We have to bear in mind that our forensic services in the UK are second to none and other countries practices and procedures can be slightly different however, two lives have been lost in harrowing circumstances and there are another two at stake, Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo.

The question many are asking is, can the DNA evidence support the case? My answer would be absolutely not. The way the DNA evidence was collected and subsequent chain of custody contradicts all the principles of forensic science and does not adhere to any codes of practice.

The prosecution have based their assertions on flawed evidence from beginning to end. The crime scene was not secured properly, a lack of chain of custody for documentation and samples, Inconsistency of documentation, handwritten notes which had been scribbled out, no probability statistics from the samples, no documents to support substance/biological nature of the DNA, key samples were used up and not made available for the defence. I am not going to list everything here but you get the general idea!

The point is, how can the court accept it as evidence in it’s current form? There are international standards of codes of practice that should be followed.

The defence can use this information to lodge an appeal and there is allegedly other evidence which support the fact that Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo were at the scene on the night however, If the DNA evidence is so flawed how will we know if other evidence isn’t also flawed? Pornthip Rojanasunand (testified for the defence) Thailand’s well known forensic expert has herself admitted that the crime scene has been poorly managed and the collection of evidence contradicts the principles of forensic science so, why again is it still being accepted?

Jane Taupin, an internationally recognised forensic expert who has received several forensic science awards travelled to Thailand expecting to testify but, was never called to give evidence. Jane was working on a Pro Bono basis therefore, cost or integrity would not be the issue here. The Judge’s have been quick to accept the prosecution’s evidence even though there are other things to take into consideration ie; They themselves do not know if they are ISO17025 accredited (the general accreditations to carry out this type of work). They have stated the DNA confirms the suspects are Asian when it is impossible to do that. There are many false statements, errors and lack of judgement in this case.

Thailand’s military ruler Prayuth Chan-ocha will not accept criticism of the case which is understandable if you learn about the culture and values of Thailand. It has a history of saving face and this is something that is both traditional and cultural. It is bad manners to criticise and point out people’s errors. Should this apply to a murder? Is it about “saving face”? The early errors could have stemmed from the fact that with public, political and media pressure to solve the case and bring the people responsible for the murders to justice, error’s of judgement have been made and now it could be about “saving face”.

Let’s hope I am wrong.

Origional article – Forensic Examinations UK




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