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Koh Tao defense team ready to submit appeal

A team of representatives appointed by the Burmese embassy in Thailand to assist two Burmese nationals on death row for the murder of two British tourists on the holiday island of Koh Tao said an appeal against the defendants’ guilty verdict has been prepared and is ready to be presented in court on 23 May.

Sein Htay, the chairman of the Thailand-based Migrant Workers’ Rights Network, said it took the Thai Lawyers Council about five months to prepare the appeal, studying a case file of more than 300 pages.

“It’s all done now — the appeal is about 200 pages long and included analysis from overseas forensic experts and also three experts sent by the Burmese government,” said Sein Htay.

“The translation of the appeal was the hard part. Now that it’s completed, we will be presenting the appeal at [Koh Samui provincial court] on 23 May. The hearing will be joined by the attorneys of the Thai Lawyers Council as well as the mothers of the two defendants.”

He expressed confidence that the appeal will be successful as the Thai lawyers took a lot of time and effort in preparing it, taking care to include all necessary points and facts.


The two Burmese migrants Zaw Linn and Win Zaw Tun were arrested by Thai police in Koh Tao, where they were working as migrants, for the alleged murder of two British tourists, David Miller and Hannah Witheridge, and the rape of the latter. The pair were both found bludgeoned to death in shallow waters on the beach in October 2014.

Zaw Linn and Win Zaw Htun were quickly charged with the crimes and convicted by the Koh Samui court on 24 December 2015, despite widespread criticism of the way the case had been handled by the Thai police.

Britain’s Scotland Yard conducted its own investigation in October 2014, but the results were never made public.


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