26 Dec July trial for Koh Tao accused

Written by Hein Ko Soe Published in Regional Read 2901 times
Myanmar accused's defence team and supporters outside the Samui Court, Thailand, December 26, 2014 . Photo: Andy Hall/Facebook
Myanmar accused's defence team and supporters outside the Samui Court, Thailand, December 26, 2014 . Photo: Andy Hall/Facebook

The two Myanmar men accused of murdering two British tourists on Thailand’s Koh Tao island will have more time to prepare their defence but it will mean a further seven months in jail.

There were emotional scenes today at Samui Court in southern Thailand as Ko Zaw Lin Oo and Ko Wai Phyo (Ko Zaw Win Htun), both 21, hugged their parents before being returned to jail after the judge set the next case hearing for July 8, 2015.

The defence had been calling for more time to prepare their case after a rush to submit documents by a deadline last week.

Most of the complainant witnesses in the Koh Tao murder case are Thai police, lawyer U Aung Myo Thant, a member of Myanmar embassy’s special investigation team in Thailand, told Mizzima December 26.

“Most of the complainant witnesses at the court proceeding today were Thai police, while one or two people were the ones who found the bodies of the victims were the defendants’ witnesses. Thai police also presented CCTV records and DNA samples,” he said.

The parents of the victims also presented two witnesses for the case, he continued.

After a rush by the court, the process looks like it will be drawn out with the plaintiff witnesses to be questioned July 8 to 10, 2015, and the defendants’ witnesses will be examined in September.

The Myanmar team will file an appeal for bail for the two Myanmar suspects on December 29.

U Kyaw Thaung, an advocate for Myanmar suspects, is now finding nine Myanmar migrant workers who would be able provide testimony.

“These nine witnesses may insist that the suspects did not commit the murders. They are now hiding for their security,” he said.

The Myanmar team made a request to transfer the case to a court in Bangkok because of security and fears for the Myanmar witnesses. Instead, the court will allow video records of the defendants’ witnesses in the case.

Last modified on Saturday, 27 December 2014 15:15