Koh Tao murders: bail denied for Burmese suspects

Koh Tao murders: bail denied for Burmese suspects

A court on the Thai island of Koh Samui has denied bail to two Burmese migrants suspected of murdering two British tourists on the nearby island of Koh Tao on 15 September.

The judge’s decision on Wednesday comes despite the efforts of a high-level delegation representing the Burmese government which offered bail on behalf of suspects Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, both 21, from Arakan State.

The 12-member team, led by upper house speaker Khin Aung Myint, had collected over US$60,000 in donations from parliamentarians in Naypyidaw to be laid down as bail money.

But the court judge ruled that the pair were a flight risk, citing the serious nature of the crimes, said Andy Hall, a British activist who champions migrant workers’ cases in Thailand.

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Aung Myo Thant, a lawyer who has interviewed the suspects several times on behalf of the Burmese embassy in Bangkok, said, “The judge rejected the embassy’s application for bail. When an embassy posts bail for its citizens, it is speaking as a representative of the country.

“But we will try again, offering both a financial guarantee and the embassy’s official guarantee.”

The Burmese team went to the prison to speak with Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun after the court’s decision, he said.

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