Defence lawyers for the two 21-year-old Burmese charged with the murder and rape of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on the Thai island of Koh Tao are to ask the court for a re-examination of DNA evidence which is being used to obtain the convictions.
They believe crooked Thai police anxious to close the case in the face of massive worldwide negative publicity switched the DNA evidence or rather introduced the DNA evidence of Wai Phyo and Zaw Lin into the scene of the crime exhibits.
Few people in Thailand believe that the two young Burmese committed the crime and that view is echoed internationally. Thai Police have a history of blaming foreigners for ugly crimes which cause the country to lose face.
In the most notable case, the murder of backpacker Kirsty Jones in Chiang Mai in 2000, several foreigners were arrested; but when told the DNA of the killer rapist was Asian, the chief detective surmised that the foreinger must have gone out and bought it from a male prostitute.
A statement from the office of chief defence lawyer Nakhon Chompuchat and issued by Andy Hall of the Migrant Workers Rights Network issued today reads:
“At 9am on Thursday 30th April 2015, Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo, the Koh Tao murder case accused, will appear at Koh Samui court accompanied by their lawyers for a case hearing. The court recently appointed both prosecution and defense lawyers to attend this hearing to explain progress regarding preparation of case witnesses.
‘The court will also at this hearing consider two important recent requests by the accused’s defense team that: (1) several items of the prosecution’s physical evidence are sent to the Ministry of Justice’s Central Institute of Forensic Science for re-examination; and (2) the Royal Thai Police provide additional information to the court and defence concerning details of analysis of case DNA evidence.
The lawyers for the case accused recently submitted these two requests to the Koh Samui Court.
However, judges have yet to issue an order and instead have requested during this hearing to question in detail the accused’s lawyers on these issues prior to deciding whether to approve or deny the requests.
The court appointment for this case hearing on 30 th April 2015 has likely been called because the judges who will consider this case, scheduled to begin on 8th July 2015, want to ensure the case hearings are managed in a correct manner with speed, efficiency. and fairness in line with societal expectations for a fair trial that is also internationally accepted.”