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Koh Tao murders – Defendants DNA does not match DNA on the murder weapon

The head of Thailand’s central forensic institute Dr Porntip Rojanasunand delivered a blow to the prosecution in the Samui Provincial Court today when she announced that the DNA on the hoe used in the Koh Tao murders last September does not match that of the defendants.

Photo credit - Sam Gruber

Photo credit – Sam Gruber

Zaw Lin and Wei Phyo, both migrant workers from Myanmar are both charged with the murder of David Miller and the murder and rape of Hannah Witheridge. Both men initially confessed to the murders but later recanted their statements saying they were tortured into confession.

DNA analysis was ordered by the defense team after the police failed to do their own tests saying after examining the hoe under a microscope they were confident it held no samples. Dr Porntip told the court today that one full and one partial DNA sample were taken from the hoe, neither of which match the defendants. She went on to say that the murder scene had been not been handled correctly stating that at least one of the bodies had been moved and blood splatters had not been tested. She also said that not enough photographs had been taken at the scene for a proper analysis and that Hannah’s skirt and top should have been tested for the perpetrators DNA.

During today’s hearing the Koh Tao defense team introduced complete UK postmortem pictures and reports of Hannah Witheridge as the best practice model.

The trial continues on the 22nd of September with more forensic expert defense witnesses still to come.

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