Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The following press release was issued today by Andy Hall on behalf of the defence of the two young Burmese being held for the murder of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller.  

It is published without comment.

Scotland Yard officers spent a considerable time and money in Thailand 'observing' this case. Their visit followed a request from British Prime Minister David Cameron to Thai PM General Prayuth Chan-Ocha.

The Koh Tao murder case accused's defence team has been working closely with REPRIEVE in the United Kingdom to explore the UK police role in the investigation of the Koh Tao murder case. 
I have now been given permission by REPRIEVE lawyers and Mr. Nakhon Chompuchat, head lawyer for the Koh Tao case defence team, to release the Metropolitan Police response document publicly.
In summary from this document: 
- The UK Metropolitan police did not conduct any investigations into the Koh Tao murders in Thailand, had observer status only and did not provide any advice or assistance;  
- The Metropolitan Police did not during its visit to Thailand take possession of any evidence, including physical evidence, forensic evidence, exhibits, interviews or statements;  
- The police are preparing a report but this is for internal use only and will not be completed until January 2015 - it will not be shared with the Thai authorities;  
- No other information will be shared with the Thai authorities by the UK government or police without an assurance regarding the death penalty; 
- The UK police do hold some limited information on the case but rely on an exemption under the Data Protection Act to refuse to provide this information (because it would prejudice a criminal prosecution).  
This response leaves some major questions unanswered, including the issue of the validity of statements issued by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office on behalf of the parents of the deceased.  
For other questions and discussions on this issue/response, the lawyers team welcome public debate that will hopefully result from release of this document in full.


  1. This investigation has more holes in it than a crumpet. Right from the start this case took a 180 degree turn after the original policeman in charge claimed they had clear evidence the bar manager and somebody who had fled to Bangkok were involved.

    He was then removed from the case and it shifted to go after the Burmese even though they were pictured in a line up waiting to have their DNA tested days before their arrest. How can we have any confidence in the Thai police given their past form.

    Since then we have had one of Thailand's most senior officers arrested for running a crime gang taking a cut of the action from every illegal enterprise in the country. To think he is just one rotten apple in the barrel would be a big mistake. The Thai police are inept, unprofessional, highly corrupt and we are supposed to trust them in this case? As we all suspected the British police were here purely as observers long after all the case and crime scene had gone stone cold.

    The DNA could have been switched, contaminated or whatever and nobody will ever know as there has been no impartial testing done. This whole case is a joke even if the two Burmese guys did indeed do it. It's pretty clear Thailand's perceived reputation and tourist industry is considered far more important than any course of real justice.

    What should be even more worrying is there is a strong possibility murderers and rapists are walking free knowing they are safe now the fix is in. These two Burmese deserve a lot better even if guilty.

  2. The key point then is WHY the FCO made the statement they did and encourage the families to say they had confidence in the police evidence. The Met did not have any new evidence to report according to their new statement.

    Are the police, the FCO, and the families going to apologise and retract and explain who authorised the release of the original information. I doubt it was ordinary officers of the Met. I doubt it was not done without some complicity from Thailand. .

  3. Just what was the point in them being there if they have nothing to report... They did provide some political cover for the Thai authorities but what about some comments about the integrity of the DNA testing etc...

    1. Its called window dressing Tim. They had a petition presented by David Millers friends and family at 10 Downing Street. The Thai Prime Minister happened to bump into Dave at a conference (accidentally on purpose for a photo shoot) and they agreed that the Met could send observers. What the didn't clarify was what they would observe. I guess maybe Soi Cowboy or Nana Plaza because they don't seem to be able to offer anything to justify the expense.

  4. But the UK investigators will submit a report. They will submit a report to the UK Coroner Inquest which is as it should be. What is the alternative, to release snippets of inference and rumour as the Thai police do?

    1. In the light of the correspondence from the law officer it is clear that report has no evidential value whatsoever.

  5. So, the report is entirely for internal distribution, non-committal and cannot be used either for the defence or prosecution? Presumably, the inquest in the deaths, scheduled for January, will simply be determined by the outcome of the trial here and therefore there will be no need to call for evidence from the MPS officers. Cameron, as I recall, in reply to a question stated that he would report to the House the findings of the MPS visit. Obviously, that will not happen now given the Xmas break. In any event, he would probably say that he could make no comment since that would prejudice the trial and, in the light of the our stance on capital punishment and without any assurance it would not be sought in this case, he was duty bound not to make any such comment.
    So, it does beg a rather large, elephant-sized question, does it not? Who authorised and orchestrated the family's press release which prejudiced the forthcoming proceedings ( in the context of UK law and in breach of it ) and implied the accused were guilty as charged?

    It can only have been the Foreign Office acting in concert with the Home Office and, presumably, with Cameron's Private Office's blessing.

    Perfidious Albion indeed. And the little shits have covered their arses so well.

    1. The Coroner's court will not need to consider the evidence from the Thai prosecution or investigations. It can read the Met report which was 'observation" only, though probably won't be made public. The UK police being in Thailand has conveniently allowed the Coroner to see an alternative side of the evidence. Whether he will be allowed or see his way clear to embarrass the FCO and the government because of the links with Thailand is another matter.

      I agree Gerry about who authorised the earlier release. I have already asked that question. We won't get an answer. It's too delicate but as I said I doubt is was the Met. They were following orders from on high, probably in line with what Thailand wanted. The diplomatic community can't and won't comment. But I agree with you that the UK government comes out of this with a great stink. We need people with balls..

  6. David and Hugo sent them on a Jolly to Thailand. It was just window dressing to the Family's who presented the petition. They found out nothing. They where using a translator that was provided by the Police. An absolute sham. I shall be contacting David Cameron and Hugo Swire to ask them to explain why they are so useless. You can all do the same Their e-mail addresses are hugo.swire.mp@parliament.uk privateoffice@no10.x.gsi.gov.uk and their Twitter is @HugoSwire

  7. Our Government gave credibility to the Thai investigation. It allowed the RTP to make a statement saying how the Met had agreed with them and how they had said they had learnt from the Same text books. A sham and ridiculous. However the UK government is morally corrupt and has been for years. They jump all over country who have links to oil and yet an example: 100's of girls get kidnapped sold into slavery in Nigeria and they do nothing. They told us for years that our island Diego Garcia is not used for torture and yet here we are years on after Jack straws announcement and the Yanks admit it. Not only that they can keep it for another 25 years. Just in Case Jeb Bush gets in Maybe. Then he can sign off some more warmongering. Its a family trait after all.