Thailand will not prosecute for murder pirate victim is told
From Andrew Drummond and Andrew Chant in Satun, March 27 2009
Grandmother Linda Robertson reacted in disbelief today after Thai
prosecutors officially told her that the Burmese 'pirates' who beat her
husband to death with a hammer could not be prosecuted for murder.
She was told officially that without a body no such charge could be
brought, even though the three Burmese men, who boarded the family yacht
Mr.Bean, had confessed to the death, and the boat was covered with her
testifying twice recounting step by step how she heard her husband
being murdered, and how she stepped in his blood before making a final
escape, she said she was shocked by the court's decision.
He chances of finding the body in the Bintang Island group, notorious
for its switching currents, are getting slimmer. Despite several false
alarms, including a statement put out by the Foreign Office that a body
had been found, none of the fleet of Naval and Police launchers, spotter
planes, and helicopters, has yet spotted the remains of her husband
'I can't believe the decision by prosecutors,' she said. 'I am in a
state of total disbelief. These young men were almost caught red handed.
They confessed to everything. The police even have the bloodstained
murder weapon. Yet there is no murder charge, not even a manslaughter
charge. It's incredible.' Currently the three Burmese have only been
charged with theft, assault and kidnap.
Linda, 57, was comforted by her two sons, after testifying for nearly
ten hours in two separate hearings, beginning in the morning and ending
In the morning case she testified against Burmese migrant fishermen Aow, 18, and Ek, 19 in Satun Provincial Court.
In the second case, in Satun Juvenile Court, she testified against
17-yr-old Ko, an orphan, whom she described as the gentler of her
attackers. ' He gave me food and water. He said sorry many times and
gave me hope that I would live.'
Mrs. and Mrs. Robertson, from St Leonard's, E. Sussex, were attacked
when they were moored off Bintang Island in Tarutao National Marine Park
on Tuesday morning. Their attackers, three Burmese migrant labourers
swam out to the mooring. Mr. Robertson was attacked as he tried to
throw the amateur pirates off the boat.
The Burmese admitted bludgeoning him to death with a hammer. They then
had, what Mrs. Robertson described as a 'noisy picnic' on the boat.
She made her escape after the three Burmese tried to take control of the
boat a second time when their getaway dinghy broke down. She weighed
anchor, put out a distress signal, and head full throttle towards a
group of fishing boats off the coast of Satun.