Koh Tao murders: British ‘witnesses’ urged to testify

Koh Tao murders: British ‘witnesses’ urged to testify

A delegation from the Burmese embassy in Thailand assisting two migrant workers accused of murder have reiterated their request that the court summon two ‘crucial’ witnesses.

The suspects, Burmese nationals Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Linn, were charged with the murder of two British tourists on the Koh Tao resort island in September last year, and are now standing trial at Koh Samui court.

Aung Myo Thant, a lawyer in the embassy delegation, said the defence team made a formal request to the court earlier this year to summon two potential witnesses, British nationals Christopher Ware and Shaun McAnna, who were on the island when the crime allegedly took place.

“The man named Sean is a friend of the female victim Hanna. CCTV footage showing him walking into a shop carrying a bloodstained guitar and with an injury on his arm similar to those found on the victims’ bodies. This was carried in several media reports. He also posted some footage on his Facebook page,” said Aung Myo Thant.

“Another witness we requested is Christopher, another British national known to the victims. A bloodstained pair of trousers were found in his luggage at an airport check, so we assume he might know something.”

He said the two witnesses should be allowed to give testimonies via an online video conference, so that they do not have to travel back to Thailand.

The Koh Samui court is expected to make a decision regarding the request on 8 July.

As of now, the Burmese suspects’ defence team have submitted a list requesting 31 witnesses, while Thai police prosecutors are calling 65 witnesses, including 50 police officials, five coroners, three Westerners and seven Burmese migrants.

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Aung Myo Thant said the court has ordered DNA samples from the crime scene to be re-examined by the Central Institute of Forensic Science’s director Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand but the police are yet to hand over the sample. The police maintain that the DNA belongs to the suspects.

Last week, the Thailand Lawyers Council expressed concerns about the Thai police’s delay in handing over the samples, pointing out that unless they are handed over soon, it may be too late to properly test the DNA before the 8 July hearing.

Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Linn, currently detained in Koh Samui prison, are reportedly in good health and confident that their innocence will be proven.

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