People who go on social media could be prosecuted under the Computer Crimes Act if they speculate to the dislike of the police – and presumably government too – on who murdered Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on Koh Tao last September, says Thailand’s Police Chief General Somyot Pumpunmuang.
Or to quote the BBC: “Speaking at police headquarters in Bangkok, General Somyot Pumpunmuang threatened to use one of Thailand’s toughest laws – the Computer Crimes Act – to prosecute anyone caught speculating about the murders on social websites.
There has been some speculation about the alleged involvement of Warot Tuwichien, 22, the son of local police chief Woraphan Tuwichien.”
This is all a bit strange, as was the public demonstration today of taking the DNA sample of the above named person to verify that he was not one of the rapists of Hannah. It will of course verify that his DNA will not match the DNA of who police say are the rapists of Hannah Witheridge.
From the Bangkok Post
I really do not understand what the fuss is all about. If Warot believes he has been libeled, he has the cash from tourists and and can turn to one of the greatest justice systems in the world, well, for people who say they have been libeled at least.
Never before has a national police force done such a thing or indeed why? 
Why did they need to?  Is this not the view of General Prayuth – published today in the Bangkok Post?

Gen Prayut said yesterday the British investigators were satisfied and had expressed those sentiments to their Thai counterparts.  

He claimed British officers had said Thai authorities had done better than they expected and that the investigation had been carried out the same way they would have done. 

“British and Thai police studied from the “same textbooks”, Gen Prayut said.

Scotland Yard I understand are not commenting on what people are commenting, which makes sense to me.

This whole story had become more and more confusing by the day, so I am glad its settled.  Thai police have carried out a ‘textbook’ investigation. The investigation is closed. We can all sleep soundly in our beds on Koh Tao now.

One thing that bothers me though. Having studied from the same text books and using their own common sense, do Thai police really believe only two lightly built 21-year-olds could have done this by themselves while the only marks on them according to the National Human Rights Commission appear to have come from, its claimed, interrogators not murder victims.

I went to see Human Rights Commissioner Dr. Niran Pitakwatchara, M.D, on Monday after several police agencies and investigation teams ‘postponed’ summonses to meet with the NHRC.

He confirmed there was evidence of mistreatment of the two Burmese suspects and others Burmese migrant workers on the island.

“We will report our findings to the highest authorities in Bangkok and may ask for prosecutions,” said Dr. Niran, “if our final report backs up those allegations.”

The powers of the National Human Rights Commission had been somewhat curtailed by the abolition of the 2007 Constitution. Under that constitution the NHRC could itself take prosecutions. So the NHCR is stymied.

This is a pity because the Human Rights Commission conducted its own investigation into the murder by a policeman of Canadian Leo Del Pinto in 2008. I accompanied the investigation.

The NHCR put the first foreign witness in court and successfully managed to have the whole investigation taken out of the hands of local police and into the hands of the DSI – and eventually policeman Uthai Dechachawit went down for the murder.

The NHCR itself was unable to increase its scope to include the Koh Tao murder investigation, as the matter is now in the hands of the court. But the families could take the matter to the Department of Special Investigations, said Dr. Niran.

Unfortunately however the DSI is somewhat stymied too. They have not had a ‘Board’, they tell me, since the military took over the country. Boards are the meetings at which a Permanent Secretary or the Minister of Justice has to stamp his approval for each investigation.

Here on this site we have refused to name people suspected of the murder – unless police have named them themselves.

But I have to be alert to comments put up on Facebook and delete where necessary. Please don’t get me into trouble when I’m asleep!  There has been a lot of wild speculation. Some perhaps not so mild. It does indicate however a low level of confidence in certain things in Thailand.