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National police chief warns against distorted information on Koh Tao murder

Royal Thai Police commissioner Pol Gen Somyot Phumphanmuang today warned of tough legal action for anyone who posted false information on the social network criticizing the handling of the Koh Tao murder case by the police which he said could cause rift and a threat to economy.

police chiefHe said posting information which is inaccurate and false could breach Article 14 of the Computer Crime Act and is subject to five year imprisonment and 100,000 baht fine or both.

The commissioner’s legal action threat came after he brought the influential village headman of Koh Tao, Woraphan Toovichien or Phuyai Wo and his son, Varot, to a press conference Thursday morning to show their sincerity to allow the police to have DNA test on his son.

Phuyai Wo arrived in Bangkok from Koh Tao to seek justice for his son Varot after he was accused in the social network of having connection with the murders of the two British tourists David Miller and Ms Hannah Witheridge on September 15.

A post on the Internet which was widely shared suggested Varot fled the island immediately after the murder took place, and the photograph which his lawyer showed to prove he was not in Koh Tao but in a Bangkok hostel on the night of the murder was retouched.

The police investigators were also criticized for not requiring DNA test for him.

The village headman said the accusation has badly tarnished his family and damaged his business and therefore would like to bring his son to meet the police commissioner to prove himself by having the DNA test.

He insisted again his family and his son were not involved as widely accused on the social network.

Pol Gen Somyot said that the police did not collect DNA sample from Varot for test during the investigation because there was evidence that he was not in Koh Tao on the night of the murder.

But to clear all allegations, he said, Varot’s father wanted to prove his son’s innocence by willingly offer the DNA test.

Result of the test will be known tomorrow.

Pol Gen Somyot, however, made clear that the DNA test on the son would have no impact on the police case file which has been finished with all circumstantial and forensic evidence submitted to the prosecutor for indictment of the two Myanmar suspects.

He said that the police knew who posted all the false information which he said intended to discredit the Royal Thai Police as well as the government.

He said he has designated the computer crime suppression police to investigate and bring the poster to trial as the post has hurt tourism and economy.

Thai PBS

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