Saturday, September 12, 2015

Saturday, September 12, 2015
27
THAI WATERTIGHT MURDER CASE HAS BEEN RIPPED OPEN ON KOH TAO -
BUT COULD SCOTLAND YARD'S INVOLVEMENT SEAL FATE OF YOUNG BURMESE?

And does DNA taken from hoe match Thai cop investigators or killers at large

THE HOE

So now we now have evidence that DNA taken from the hoe – the principal weapon in the brutal slayings of Britons Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on the Thai island of Koh Tao does not match the DNA of the two young Burmese men on trial for their murder.

That means that we also know that there is DNA from the hoe of two men taken by Dr. Porntip Rojanasunand, Director-General of the Central Institute of Forensic Science.

And those men have not even been looked for.

That DNA should by all rights be either that of the real murderers or someone who has messed up the crime scene, which, Dr. Porntip said, was what happened.

The Thai police evidence was that it was impossible to get DNA from the hoe, something which would have set the eyes of DNA experts worldwide rolling.

And now they have been told there is DNA its unlikely they are going to challenge their own watertight case, or expose their own scenes of crime incompetence.


The Thai Justice system is on trial and its a no win situation.  Here's the problem.

Worldwide consensus is that the two young Burmese are scapegoats. The consensus in Thailand is pretty much the same.

The two Burmese confessed under torture. And this is verified by an independent investigation by the Thai National Human Rights Commission.

Thai Police investigators are solely relying on their claim that the DNA in the the sperm found on Hanna Witheridge is that of the two Burmese defendants but they have not produced any independent corroborative evidence linking them to the murder.

Nobody seriously would trust the Thai Police with DNA testing in a murder they want to solve quickly - not least because they have a history of messing around with DNA results - such as in the unsolved murder of Kirsty Jones.


But for even those who believed the Thai police evidence before the trial they might easily have been dissuaded if they listened to the the cross examination which revealed:

* Thai police had no proper and adequate chain of custody documents for the court; no photos of any of the DNA analysis processes, no case notes, no written description of testing processes. Originally they just had charts of DNA profiles.

*No DNA information was presented at all on the cigarette butts, just a piece of paper saying they matched.

*The defence further highlighted the fact that the DNA sperm data was written, crossed out, and revised and dates and times were clearly wrong.

In fact the whole collection process raised doubts maintains Andy Hall of Migrant Workers Rights.

Now this is all a bit inconvenient. For two young Burmese to go down for this murder would be convenient for all sides except the Burmese.  The Thais because they save face. Scotland Yard because they have backed the Thai investigation - and General Prayuth Chan-O-Cha who also backed Thai police.

But on the basis of evidence presented by the prosecution the case would have been thrown out in the UK and most western countries.

But this is Thailand and you can cast aside the norms of proof and legal procedure,  And, as verbatim note taking has been forbidden, the world has missed how Thai police reacted when asked to provide items they never had.

So far this case has been presented from a western point of view. Even the Bangkok Post is using a mish mash of agency copy.

In the London Central Criminal Court the judge would have no doubt brought the officers in the case before him and had more than a few things to say.


For a start he might have said: ‘Now go and find the killers’.

But in Thailand this would never happen.

So these two young men could still go to their deaths or prison for life - and if that happens could it be the fault of Scotland Yard, the National Crime Agency, Norfolk Police and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office?

Certainly some people think so.

It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Scotland Yard Scenes of Crime officers and Norfolk Police were misled when they arrived in Thailand where they would have been royally treated by their Thai colleague in law enforcement.

I myself have enjoyed the fringe benefit of some of this hospitality but I am sure in the light of political correctness it is much modified nowadays.

Now lets look again at the statements issued by the families after British police returned home.









The Witheridge family:

"We would like to thank the officers who travelled to Thailand to review the case and the Royal Thai Police for facilitating their visit.
 
“We would like to stress that as a family we are confident in the work that has been carried out into these atrocious crimes and want to remind both press and public that they do not have the full facts to report and make comment on at this stage.


The Miller family:


 "We would like to express our relief that progress is being made in Thailand and this case is finally coming to court. 
"We would like to reiterate our gratitude to the UK Metropolitan Police, who received the co-operation of the Royal Thai Police in undertaking an independent review into the investigation." 
And while the family stated:  "support for the Myanmar suspects has been strong and vocal" they urged the public not to "jump to conclusions" and said the "suspects have a difficult case to answer". 
 "The evidence against them appears to be powerful and convincing. They must respond to these charges, and their arguments must be considered with the same scrutiny as those of the prosecution.”
Those statements were issued through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In fact it is fair to assume that both sets of parents were, if not directed, were guided in what to put out to the media by both the FCO and Scotland Yard.


Ambassador Mark Kent with General Somyuot, head of the Thai police discusses 'water tight case' which was
\congratulated' by Scotland Yard whose officers 'read the same books'.

The FCO and Scotland Yard may well dispute this. But those statements are from two families who believe that the two young Burmese are guilty.  There can be little doubt about it.

For a Foreign Office, which invariably falls back on the standard: 'We cannot interfere with the justice system of a foreign country'  to unfortunate Britons facing Thai justice,  issuing these statements is a little bit rich.

Would these statements have been made had the alleged killers been British?

There can have been little more prejudicial to the case of the young Burmese than a statement against them by the victims' families.

Unfortunately Scotland Yard and the National Crime Agency need the Thai police.. desperately so even.

Thailand has now become a favourite bolt hole for British criminals. Only Thai police can pick them up. Britain has to join the queue as American, Australian, European and other police forces also try and get Thai police to pick up their rogues.

As often as not the foreign rogues have more money at their disposal that some of the police forces.

Historically, (and I can personally vouch for this) there has been a tradition of being soft on Thai police and never ever being critical.  The British media is regarded as a nuisance.

All victim families  are warned off.  The Thais are given credits for all the arrests and there have been multiple 'demonstration of the success of international police co-operation' - (even where defendants have successfully later bribed themselves out).


Sue Jones
Sue Jones the mother of Kirsty Jones, the 23-year-old graduate who was raped and murdered in Chiang Mai I am sure can provide many instances of being told ‘Don’t upset the Thai police, It is counter-productive”.

She did not upset the police by making comments on that investigation and by doing so she was keeping a lot bottled up.

She still did not get a result and the investigation was handed to the DSI and many remain convinced to this day that it is because a true result would not be good for Thailand.

So what of Scotland Yard’s report? Well it is being kept confidential. Officers from Scotland Yard and Norfolk Police were in Thailand at the request of British Prime Minister David Cameron for over a month. They were even filmed on the murder scene, but even though they had clip boards they were only observing, they say.

The defence has repeatedly asked and even gone to court to get the Scotland Yard report but failed.

The reason given is that it would not help the defence. A more realistic one might be that while it may not help the defence it would not help Scotland Yard either.

There are disclosure issues here also. Would Scotland Yard have been able to refuse had they had the request to provide the report to a British court?

The roles of the Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard) and the Foreign Office certainly deserves better scrutiny.

It has also been claimed that Scotland Yard and the National Crime Agency were using an interpreter supplied by the Thai police.  I do not believe that one.  That would just be too stupid.

The NCA , formerly SOCA, formerly British Customs, police liaison office in Bangkok, have always had a fluent English speaking Thai on board.

But could Scotland Yard have been fooled?  Certainly. And while Scotland Yard has probably one of the best reputations in the world – helped along by Hollywood and crimes series’ –  its reputation at home is not quite so high.

‘The long arm of the law’ is repeatedly hyped, but some may suspect that its failures might exceed its successes.



Dr. Porntip has of course had many rows with the Thai police, as you would expect. She was also discredited over the GT200 scam – recommending worthless, or rather fraudulent, bomb detecting machines to the Thai police and army.

Nevertheless her finding of DNA on the hoe of two men who are not the defendants was a bombshell.

Once again - If the DNA of the hoe is not one of the members of the investigation team - then its of the killers - and the killers are not the two Burmese.




Sue Jones, mother of Kirsty Jones murdered in Chiang Mai, commenting on the latest development on Facebook said:

"This is awful for the families. All they will want is justice and answers. I doubt if they will get either,not honestly anyway.
 
Having dealt with the Thais for 15 years nothing surprises me anymore.
My thoughts are with them."

The photo-shopped picture below is not reflective of anything in the story - rather a hark back to the times when murders had to be solved without DNA.

Picture - The Weapon

27 comments:

  1. If the garden hoe doesn't match to the two Burmese, imagine what the rape kit samples might show or who they might point to - and a ton of other bloodied evidence that has been destroyed a year ago.

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  2. I believe it is a mistake to attribute any backing of the GT 200 bomb sniffers to Dr Porntip. I recall quotes from her along the lines seemed to work for some people some of the time, which she compared to divining rods- which also work for some people, some of the time and further went on to state no one knows how or why this is.

    Regardless, can anyone agree it is possibly maintaining access to Thai prostitutes that is behind foreign authorities refusing to confront Thai police? Sex is a powerful motivator for the male of the species who are in vast control of governmental agencies.

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    1. I doubt that anyone will agree with your bizarre suggestion for fear of the sheer ridicule that that agreement would attract.

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    2. So can you offer an explanation why Thailand seems to be able to operate a judicial system that favors reputation over justice, stitching up whomever without repercussions? What commodity does the nation possess that foreign ministerial types need access to that prevents active meddling and encourages passive acceptance? Do you disagree males are sexually motivated beings and are generally known to think with their penises, especially foreign males in Thailand?

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    3. I never thought I would see the day that I found myself in agreement with Bob...but I'm afraid that day has just arrived.

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    4. No I can't explain the Thai legal system, as you clearly can't Ms S, but as a rational man I can say that diplomatic access to prostitutes would definitely not explain it. Perhaps foreign ministers just aren't allowed under international conventions to interfere in other nation's legal affairs, just as Thai's cannot interfere in the UK legal process?

      Your observation that men are sexually motivated is correct up to a point otherwise the human species would not exist but, then, so are women sexually motivated (and what a terrible state of affairs that is, eh?) so what point you're trying to make escapes me.

      The last part of your comment re men's thinking process would be correct only if you accept that women think with their vaginas, an assumption as ridiculous as your comments on here so far.

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    5. I do not propose any ministers or diplomats interfere with a " justice" system, I am only making an observation that Thailand manages to avoid sanctioning of any sort that other countries acting as such are subject to, and would like to know what commodity if offers that allows it- if it is not prostitutes. Can you offer an answer to that , M. Kneale, or do you disagree that Thailand frequently acts outside boundaries of what is considered fairness in its judiciary systems?

      I only propose if the diplomatic corps were populated overwhelmingly with females, Thailand would be held to task when such transgressions such as this investigation occur.

      As for putting men and women on the same level as far as being indentured to their sex drive is what's ridiculous. I do not see legions of women flocking to Pattaya Soi 6 for prostitutes and jumping through all manner of flaming hoop immigration concocts in order to stay long term.
      I do not see them en mass marrying spouses 1/2 to 1/4 their age in order to have personal body servants, either.

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  3. Incidentally, the media show results of Nom Sod getting DNA tested publicly which apparently cleared him never made it to police investigators it was claimed in earlier trial reports.

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  4. The suspects DNA (sperm) was found in the victim. If police planted it there then they certainly could have more easily planted it on the hoe. The lack of their DNA on the Hoe means little as it was handled after (and before) by others including the person who found it on the beach and moved it back to the tool storage before the bodies were found. DNA is not always left behind just because you touch something.

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    1. I think you missed the point. DNA sperm sample is more damning than DNA on the hoe. The defence are rigourously fighting claims that there was sperm DNA on victim - and point out that police offered no corroborative evidence - showing the samples being taken, custody of he DNA, etc - anything it seems. The killer was not merely touching the hoe - which I think is rather obvious. This is a new mention of tool storage area btw.

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    2. so you think the police planted sperm in the victims but at some point in the last year the couldn't put their dna on the hoe?

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    3. It has been reported by numerous sources and believe stated in court that a worker that morning found the hoe and put it back where it belonged prior to bodies being discovered.

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    4. Not sure I understand the logic here. No comparison DNA on victim. DNA on a weapon.

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  5. I think we are about to witness one of Thailands notorious stitch ups.
    Keep away from Thailand or you could be next

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  6. Sperm was found in Hannah's body. This has never been disputed. The defence had asked for an independent retest of this sperm DNA for months, only to abandon this request after the Met police statement that there is no exculpating evidence.
    The DNA was profiled in Bangkok, Chiang Mai (University) and in Singapore. The bodies were sent back to the UK and surely there was an autopsy with more DNA samples. Fifteen days later the suspects get arrested and their DNA matches. So was sperm placed in the body? How did the police get the DNA of the suspects long before the arrests? Four different agencies are all falsifying DNA results? This must be the Thai police's greatest, most elaborate coup.
    And, at first they said they were beaten to extract confessions. No bruises were were ever seen on their bodies. Only half-a-year after the arrest they come up with the "plastic bags" and "tooth extraction" stories, with sometimes "cutting off arms and legs" or "burn alive" thrown in. These methods leave no bruises I guess. Their lawyer has also publicly stated that the suspects had confessed to him, under torture as well? Then there is the very detailed video confession. Lastly, the suspects have stated that they found David's iPhone on the beach and gave it to their friend (who has confirmed having received it and never said he was tortured), who smashed and dumped it near their residence where police found it. What a coincidental find and why would they dispose of an expensive phone instead of trying to find the owner? The (22-year-old) "boys" may be cute, but that doesn't mean they're not guilty.
    Scotland Yard and the Foreign Office risk their reputations over relations with the (gulp) Thai Police? You can't be serious.

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    1. There was no exculpating evidence because none was provided by the prosecution and it has now been stated the prosecution failed to detect DNA on the hoe. Of course the defence are disputing the sperm. The defendant if you recall were DNA tested long before. Torture can included a threat as in 'We will feed you to the sharks' and does not always leave marks. The best torture does not. I think you will find that the case for the Metropolitan Police includes word to the affect that sometimes the public interest takes precedent over the private interest and that was applied in this case.The Met maintained that to hand over its report to defence would do serious damage to Thai Police and British police relations. There are clearly many points in the case against the Met using Thai sources which have been seriously disputed by the defence. I would have more confidence in the Thai Police investigation perhaps had not Thai police in the Kirsty Jones case repeatedly to pin the case on a Burmese hill tribe guide, then other foreigners including the British guest house owner of the guest house where she was staying and where the brutal murder and rape took place. They even tried to masturbate the Burmese guide Narong! They charged the guesthouse owner but it was pointed out to them that the sperm was Asian. Thai Police then announced that the sperm could have been acquired by paying a male prostitute or ladyboy for the spern which the killer inserted in her body. The investigation went downhill at this point and Dyfed Powys never really got much tangible assistance from Thai police thereafter.

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    2. The Kirsty Jones case is a total mess and there was pressure on certain (convenient) people to confess, but never was any suspect who clearly was or could have been a scapegoat presented to the public, nor was there any allegations of torture. It was more incompetence and an ongoing cover-up to not charge the real culprits. This is the level of rottenness I expect from the Thai police. For me to believe they stage a high-profile case such as is alleged in Ko Tao, to frame two suspects in the age of DNA evidence, I need more proof beyond "Thai police are corrupt and incompetent".
      If they were tortured, why do they give a highly detailed account of what happened? This is very untypical of those confessing under duress, they will usually only state what the "torturers" expect to hear. For example, it took the Khmer Rouge weeks and months to get detailed confessions of the alleged "CIA spies".
      The DNA on the hoe is also almost irrelevant: The hoe was handled by many people over many years, was exposed to the sun, rain, and salty air. Then it was collected, handled by many people and stored somewhere. Now, almost a year after the crime, Dr. Porntip (don't get me started, her ego is bigger than her hairdoo) finds one and a half samples of human DNA. And they don't match the suspects. It would have been more surprising if there had been a match.
      Also, why doesn't the defence have the sperm DNA retested as they had demanded for months, the court agreed to, and now defence says "they don't need anymore"? The only motivation can be that they don't expect a non-match with the suspects. They say they fear the police would handle the samples. So the police would handle the suspects' sperm samples to the defence? Where would they get those samples? This doesn't make sense and it looks like the defence is grasping at straws, like "Why didn't you watch that boat leaving in the morning? (A boat nobody ever saw)" to insinuate that the (homosexual) son of the evil-looking bar owners must have raped Hannah and killed David and then reached Bangkok within four hours.

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    3. Kirsty Jones: Presented to the public and chargedL Andy Gill and Surin his assistant at the guest house. Tortured: Narong.
      Wai Phyo - Zaw Win case: General Panya Mamem identified whom he saw as the culprits. Subsequently transferred. Tortured: several Burmese (picture evidence) and claims by WP and ZW. Not commenting on your assertions about KR. They appeared to torture because they enjoyed it. I am sure many confessed immediately. I would have. The question about sperm has already been answered. Quite clearly boats did leave in the morning. Police arrested the driver of one and I am assured got a confession out of him witnessed by monks. The point is this case is full of holes,. was prejudiced from the start and as presented is unsafe.

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  7. The big problem is that the sperm DNA has been tested and found NOT to be from the 2 accused , and probably points to a ''local Thai culprit'' with connections ,,, so it is being withheld or conveniently ''lost'' so that Khunying Porntip or any other competent party cannot test it reveal the truth ...



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  8. I've been trying to post this article on Facebook but it's not allowed. I posted it therea few days ago and it was deleted. What's going on?

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  9. I've been trying to post this article on Facebook but it's not allowed. I posted it there a few days ago but it's been deleted. What's going on?

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  10. The Koh Tao Murders... Good police work would start with following the Electronic Trails...

    Start with the obvious question: Were the rape and murders perhaps committed by a well-connected Thai? That is what everyone suspects, so why not start there? Doesn't it appear that the village headman was too keen on avoiding a police investigation of his extended family and friends?

    Thai people love their mobile phones and their ATM cards. A real investigator would follow the electronic trails, in order to establish probable or circumstantial evidence.

    Even if the Koh Tao village headman and his family have all changed their mobile phone numbers, and opened new bank accounts, it doesn't matter. The local phone company computers retain all SMS text messages, and the Thai banking and ATM and CDM data is also retained "forever".

    Simply connect the dots - -

    1. What mobile phone number(s) were in use by the Koh Tao village headman, his son, and their extended circle of family and friends and cop buddies on or about 15-Sept-2014? Start with even just one verified phone number. Follow the connections. Read the text messages. You don't need triangulation data. Just a connection record with one single tower will show where in Thailand was any given mobile on any given day. The text messages, together with the approximate location of the Thai suspects, and the spider's web circle of connections will surely raise a few eyebrows.

    2. What bank accounts were in use by the Koh Tao village headman, his son, and their extended circle of family, friends, mia nois, girlfriends, (and cop buddies) on or about 15-Sept-2014? Follow the ATM withdrawals and the CDM redeposits from that day forward. Follow the account-to-account transfers. Follow the money trails. Ask questions.

    3. Which cops, translators and other persons of interest were involved with the young Burmese boys in the "Safe House" on Koh Tao? What mobile phone numbers were those cops using on the day that the confessions were "extracted" from the Burmese suspects? Wouldn't you like to read those Thai cop mobile phone text messages from that day?

    Unless the police have enough influence to erase servers and back-up servers, then all electronic phone and banking records are still stored on local servers.

    Lastly, if the electronic trails raise a few eyebrows, then wouldn't you want to have a real lab, like Scotland Yard, to compare the rape victim's sperm residue to the local Thai guys DNA on Koh Tao?

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    1. Do you know what is going on? This is a court case, not an police investigation now and it's a court case based on a Thai police investigation because the Thai authorities are the only ones that have any jurisdiction in Thailand.

      Just for the record, there are no "young Burmese boys" involved, there are two adult men in their 20s that are standing trial right now though.

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    2. But what just about everybody on this site is saying, Boob, (with the exception of you), is that the Thai justice system is a joke.
      Two young Burmese men have, in all probability, been "fitted up" in this case, for expediency.
      The general feeling, both in Thailand and abroad, would appear to be that they are not the culprits in this case - but somebody needs to "go down."
      The Thai police have botched the investigation but face must be saved.

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    3. I am well aware of that, Megalodon and your referring to me as Boob was, I'm sure everyone will agree, extremely witty and not childish (I wonder what your Thaivisa name is?).

      Just because I don't join in with the same old rhetoric (of which your last 3 sentences are a perfect example of) and constantly regurgitated investigative tips being given to all the authorities, here and abroad, doesn't mean I'm not critical of the Thai justice system also.

      Don't forget, the trial is not over yet.

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  11. Well Boob, as far as your second paragraph is concerned, "you could have fooled me!!"

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  12. So Bob, if it as how you say then why is the court on Samui not allowing journalist to write down and publish what is being shown and said in the court. If the case is so solid then one would think that they would allow Thai journalist to report it, which they are not. Maybe face saving?
    If you are correct then one would think the RTP, Govt and TAT would love this info out.

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