Suspects in the Koh Tao murder case, Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, told Burmese embassy delegates on Friday that local Thai police had directed them what to say and do during a re-enactment of the crime on 3 October.
Speaking to DVB following their meeting with the detained Burmese migrants, lawyer Aung Myo Thant said, “Actually, they [Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun] didn’t know anything. They re-enacted the crime as they were told by the translator and the police. The interpreter told them to do exactly what the police said, and warned them not to respond to any reporters. They were told if they tried to speak to reporters they would be killed.”
Another member of the Burmese delegation, Kyaw Thaung of the Myanmar Association in Thailand, said that the suspects had confessed to killing British tourists David Miller and Hannah Witheridge because they were afraid that the police were going to kill them.
“I asked them: ‘Why did you tell us last time that you hit [the victims] with a shovel?’” said Kyaw Thaung. “They replied that they had decided to tell the truth in court, but that they were too afraid to tell the truth before because the police and interpreter threatened to kill them.
“They are still afraid. We told them not to sign any papers unless we are present. But Zaw Lin said that if they don’t sign they will be beaten.”
Kyaw Thaung added that the 21-year-old Burmese men had reiterated that they had been beaten during interrogation, and that they were forced to sign a confession in Thai without a Burmese translation.
Delegates from the Burmese embassy in Thailand also included military attaché Maj. Than Hteik Aung, an interpreter and a note taker. They were permitted to speak to the suspects from 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm on 31 October.
Earlier this week, lawyer Aung Myo Thant told DVB that the suspects had been freed of the shackles around their ankles.
The lawyer also told DVB that, when recounting their testimony to the delegates on Friday of what happened on the night of the double-murder, the suspects said they went swimming at about 2am after drinking beer. They said that when they came out the water they could not find their guitar or shirts, Aung Myo Thant said.