The sister of murdered British backpacker Hannah Witheridge has hit out at Thai authorities over the Koh Tao murder case, calling the investigation into the death of Hannah and fellow Brit David Miller “bungled”.
Laura Witheridge posted an excoriating note on her Facebook page following the death of British tourist Luke Miller, 26, who was found dead in a hotel swimming pool on Saturday. Thai police have ruled out murder.
In the note, she accused the Thai authorities of using her family for press photo opportunities following the rape and murder of her sister in September 2014, saying that “the bungled investigation” meant the Thai police had nothing to tell them.
“Would it surprise you if I told you that the Thais view drug possession as a more serious offence than rape or murder? Or that the vast majority of the Thai police force are corrupt?” she wrote.
She added: “Many Thais hate westeners and they have little to no regard for human life. I don’t say this lightly, or without reason.”
Myanmar migrant workers Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun were found guilty by a Thai court on Dec. 24 of the murders of the British backpackers, and were handed the death sentence. They are expected to appeal.
However the investigation into the killings drew allegations of police incompetence, torture and mishandling of evidence.
Laura’s note continued: “What if I told you that I have had many death threats from Thai people since they murdered my sister? That they defaced photographs of me saying that the killers had only done ‘half the job’… what if I told you that people commented on these photographs saying things like ‘there is still time’, and ‘tick tock tick tock’.”
“What if I told you that I have been sent crime scene photographs? What if I told you that I have been chased in my car? What if I told you that the Thais offered us ‘compensation’? Obviously we were absolutely appalled and declined.”
Laura ended by warning people wanting to go to Thailand to watch a video by hactivist group Anonymous entitled “Koh Tao Murder – Thai Police, their scapegoates and tourist trade – Exposed by Anonymous,” in which the group discusses their investigation into the murder case.
Luke’s mother Sara Cotton also said British parents should not let their children go to the Thai holiday island, according to the BBC.
“This has ripped my heart out,” she told the BBC.
“If I knew then what I know now about that island, he wouldn’t have gone. I would’ve hidden his passport. I don’t think parents should let their kids go out there to this island.”