‘Perfect’ Koh Tao investigation coming apart at seams

ABOVE: President Thein Sein welcomes Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha to Naypyidaw, Myanmar. Photo: Myamar Ministry of Information.

There seem to be more problems with the “perfect” case brought by police against two Burmese migrants accused of killing two British tourists on Koh Tao last month.

As Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha visits Myanmar a day after prosecutors rejected the case file as incomplete and flawed, the police star witness said he didn’t actually see anything.

Maung Maung, a third Myanmar national being held by police as a witness against his friends Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, said he had one bottle of beer with them on the night of the murders but then left at 1am to go see his girlfriend. He did mention seeing a Western couple at some point.

When he returned home at 5am, the two men were sound asleep.

His testimony was recounted by Aung Myo Thant, a lawyer with the Burmese embassy, who was allowed to speak to them Wednesday, according to the Democratic Voice of Burma, after being denied access earlier in the week by police.


Burmese migrant workers hold a vigil and call for an independent investigation on Wednesday in Chiang Mai. Video: Democratic Voiceo of Burma

Earlier this week the two suspects recanted their confessions to Aung Myo Thant, saying they were made under torture by Thai police and a roti-seller conscripted as a translator by police.

Meanwhile Thailand’s celebrity forensic examiner slammed police for bungling the case by not involving a forensic pathologist, Bangkok Post reported.

“The weak point (in the investigation) is that police do not understand that the case requires a forensic pathologist, so the officers who collected evidence did not call in one from Surat Thani Hospital,” said Director-General Porntip Rojanasunan of the Central Institute of Forensic Science. “A case of two murdered people certainly needs a forensic physician.”


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