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The lawyers defending Zaw Lin and Wei Phyo in the Koh Tao murder case have appealed for more time today (Thursday) on what is meant to be the penultimate day of the trial. Chief lawyer Nakhon Chompupat sited one of the reasons as there being problems convincing witnesses to testify for fear of retribution.
Yesterday human rights activist and defense team advisor Andy Hall took to the stand to provide evidence of his own investigation alongside the Migrant Workers Rights Network (MWRN), into torture allegations from the Myanmar migrants during the Koh Tao murder investigations. He went on to explain what he describes as “significant contradictions between the UK and Thai autopsies on the body of deceased Koh Tao murder victim Hannah Witheridge.” On his twitter account he said “I based autopsy testimony on a comparison of the two autopsy reports and my direct communication with the renowned autopsy doctor in UK” in another tweet he said “Then presented to court an expert forensic report and accompanying video stating that based on gait analysis the running man was not Wai Phyo”. “I pointed out Thai police cited no scientific evidence suggesting running man was Wai Phyo and based their conclusion on ‘similar looks’”. During his testimony he “presented to the court a video of the Roti Man telling channel 3 news the accused admitted to killing the deceased with a wine bottle.”
Hall, who with the MWRN has raised a significant amount of money to fund the costs of the defense team, who are working pro-bono, went on to tweet “Main basis prosecution cross examination seem to me an attempt to convince the court that I was seeking personally to benefit from the case.” And later tweeted “MWRN raised around 2m baht which dwarfs into insignificance by millions of baht Thai government has spent on a shambolic prosecution case”. Hall along with the MWRN have supported the accused since their arrest last October providing humanitarian visits to the prison, food and drinking water as well as conducting an extensive investigationn both into the case and the allegations of torture the accused say was the reason the initially confessed to the crimes.
With one day left to go in the high profile trial that has caught media attention around the world, so far only one of the defendants, Zaw Lin, has taken the stand, he is due to continue his testimony before the conclusion of the trail. Wei Phyo has yet to speak during the trial. Both of the accused have appeared remarkably calm during the proceedings and have told support groups that their spirits remain high and they wish nothing more for justice for the families of the victims of this violent crime. Both insist they had nothing to do with the crimes that took place on Siree Beach last September, have no criminal history and they insist no motive to have ever been involved.