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Prosecutors set to arraign Myanmar men for Koh Tao killings


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Prosecutors set to arraign Myanmar men for Koh Tao killings
Suwannee Banditsak
The Nation


BANGKOK: -- PUBLIC PROSECUTORS are preparing to arraign two Myanmar suspects today on charges related to the murder of two British tourists on Koh Tao in September.

"Evidence presented by investigators is solid," Tawatchai Seangchaew said yesterday in his capacity as head of the Office of State Attorney Region 8.

He said police had backed their investigation report with witness statements, circumstantial evidence and forensic evidence.

Tawatchai said speculation on social media about the suspects being scapegoats may have stemmed from the fact people did not have access to complete information and full sets of evidence.

"Under the law, some items of evidence can't be disclosed publicly," he said.

Koh Tao, a usually idyllic island near Samui and Pha-ngan, was the scene of brutal crimes in mid-September. The killings of Britons David Miller and Hannah Witheridge made headlines both locally and internationally.

A few weeks later, Thai police arrested two Myanmar suspects and charged them with the murders. But Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun later |complained that they were forced into confessing to the crimes they had not committed.

Their parents have been seeking help from various organisations, including the Myanmar embassy, as they are adamant that their sons are innocent.

In the face of public suspicion that the pair may be scapegoats, Thai police arranged a DNA test for the son of an influential local before the media. Test results cleared the young man named on social media as the real suspect.

Tawatchai said yesterday parents of the victims would be notified of the latest move by Thai officials. "They can become co-plaintiffs if they want," he said.

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Prosecutors-set-to-arraign-Myanmar-men-for-Koh-Tao-30248974.html

-- The Nation 2014-12-02

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When this goes to trial, I expect

1) The trial will be very drawn out.

This gives longer for the case to fade from the public's mind. It also gives the police, prosecutor and court the time to closely monitor any events happening in the UK, or less likely, Burma or NHRC and adjust their actions accordingly to cover their backs.

2) Heavy control of reporting and close management of 'the message' by the judge and any press office.

3) Nothing in the way of an adversarial trial that Western posters would be familiar with.

Cross-examination of witnesses by barristers, lawyers, etc. is almost unheard of in Thai courts. Proceedings are much more tightly controlled and dominated by the judge.

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"He said police had backed their investigation report with witness statements, circumstantial evidence and forensic evidence."

We were told for a long time there were no witnesses..... magic, all of a sudden?

Circumstancial evidence? In a murder investigation?

We all know the forensics are not worth any tissue they are scribbled on.

I sure hope their defence lawyer has not been bought, and tears this case to pieces.

Witnesses, circumstantial evidence, DNA, etc will likely be enough to convict.

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BSJ post # 14

I am not saying they didn't do it, what I am saying is the police screwed up this case so much we may never know the truth.

There in a nutshell is the answer.

Or perhaps it should read.

I am not saying they didn't do it, what I am saying is the police screwed so much money out of the real murderers and rapists we will never know the truth of the matter..

Someone's on form this morning! ;)

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jdinasia post # 12

Witnesses, circumstantial evidence, DNA, etc will likely be enough to convict.

The Oracle has spoken.

One is led to wonder why an ongoing campaign is being conducted with the intention to divert people away from the truth by some posters, might those posters have knowledge or even a vested interest in those really involved in the matter and the subsequent outcome of the case?


No vested interest on my part, how about on yours?

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Luckily this case has got too big for the case not to go to trial. But because of the high profile nature of the case and all of the investigative flaws and torture allegations not yet contested I very much doubt these boys will be found guilty.

The trial just seems like a means of 'going through the motions' to appease the parents. The final sentences from the article seems to imply this. It's pretty certain that there is insufficient evidence to convict but the RTP can say "we tried but were continually hampered in our efforts by internet conspiracy theorists" and conveniently put the case as "unsolvable".

It is almost inconceivable that the judge will convict. The outrage internationally from press alone is something the junta won't risk. The scrutiny they're under so far has shown huge cracks start to appear in many different areas. They certainly wouldn't welcome any negative backlash. I might be completely wrong but I just can't see the Burmese chaps going down with the 'evidence' as is

I really believe the Junta don't give a shit about international outrage. They live in a nice little bubble, which is impregnable (in their eyes). Economic consequences are nowhere near as bad as losing face.

That was precisely my point, face won't be lost if the trial actually happens. But like you say these people running the show right now are disengaged massively from reality, so obviously anything is possible. I also think that for now they do give a shit about international relations and do need some accountability. They don't want their legacy to include pissing off other countries because Thailand won't be under junta rule forever

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The BIB said the case they first presented was ' perfect ' but having been told to produce more evidence or clarify some points on more than one occasion the prosecutors now say the case is ' solid ' so maybe they can actually start a trial and let's see what this perfect, solid case is made of unless of course the two accused have' decided ' or been ' persuaded ' to plead guilty.

The prosecutor felt it necessary to say that under the law some items of law can't be disclosed publicly, what a pity this legal requirement meant nothing to the BIB who from the outset never stopped talking. Surely someone from the prosecutors office should have told them to shut up if that's possible.

In some jurisdictions the non-stop comments from the police could jeopardize the prosecutions case but TIT.

A senior officer did say on a media stop that the DNA didn't belong to an Asian , if I was the defence I would be hammering the credibility of the RTP and has the evidence been tampered with

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