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Supreme Court accepts final appeal in the Koh Tao murders

The Supreme Court of Thailand has accepted the final appeal of Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo, the two migrant workers sentenced to death for the murders of British Tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on Koh Tao.

The final appeal from the lawyers representing the two men was submitted to the court on August 21st.

The 319 page document points to evidence that Wai Phyo and Zaw Lin had been denied justice and fairness and are innocent of the crimes of which they have been convicted.

Aung Myo Thant, a lawyer working with the Lawyers Council pointed out that Thai police violated the police procedure in the collection of DNA evidence and phone records and failed out proper procedures in searching for DNA evidence. He also said that the two men were forced to admit to the murders. He went on to say that the evidence presented at the trial does not support the death penalty. He told the Myanmar Times “Thailand has only one law for its citizens as well as foreigners, so I believe our two migrants can escape the death sentence because there is not enough evidence of murder,” he said.

Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo will, this October, have been behind bars for 3 years. They were found guilty on 7 charges including the rape and murder of Hannah Witheridge and the murder of David Miller. They were sentenced to death in December 2015.

Last month the National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom admitted to the High Court in London that they illegally gave phone records to the Thai police that helped to convict the two men.

The council and Myanmar officials hope to hear a ruling on the final appeal to the Supreme Court within six months.

U Aung Myo Thant said they will appeal again to the Thai royal government if the Supreme Court rejects their final appeal.

U Aung Kyaw, president of the Thailand-based Migrant Workers Rights Network, which has been helping the council on the case, also urged the Thai government to rule in favour of the two Myanmar men.

Myanmar’ special representative U Htoo Chit, executive director of the Thailand-based Foundation for Education, also said the NCA’s admission of illegally sharing evidence could affect the case and require that it be reinvestigated, he confirmed to the Samui Times today that the appeal has been accepted by the Supreme Court and it is now being reviewed.

 

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