Koh Tao Investigation for Myanmar Scapegoat

Report the witness list on Koh Tao murder case
By: Ma Aye Aye Mar (Voice of America, Bangkok, Thailand)
27th December 2014 (08:29)
/// Kho Tao special investigation committee backed by the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok submitted the list of 31 witness report and their evidential testimonies were sent to Kho Saumui provincial court on Friday on accused two young men for two Britons double murder case on Kho Tao island in Thailand.
The provincial Judge allowed two foreign nationals to be testified requested by The Thai Lawyer Council. Ma Aye Aye Mar reported.
Two young Britons were murdered on Kho Tao island where there busy tourists area in Thailand on last September 15th. Thai police accused two Burmese national young adults with 7 sentences including murder, and rape case. Two young Burmese men pledged not guilty on the case and they were forced to admit earlier because of threatening and being tortured during interrogation. So, the Myanmar embassy formed a special investigation team and prepared to defense the case by twelve lawyers.
During pre-hearing at the Kho Saumui provincial court, when both sides’ witness lists were submitted, 31 witness list were reported for two Burmese youth, said by lawyer U Aung Myo Thant from the special investigation team by the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok.
“According to the Judge, before this 26th December both parties are asked to submitted the witness and the lists. There are 65 witnesses from prosecutor. We have got 31 including two foreign nationals (Britons). The court date will be beginning in July next year. Witnesses from prosecutor will be testified on 8th of July. Then, all of 65 will be finally questioned in August. And, in September, accused witness will be testified. I think, we are doing all right on court situation. It was likely a system because, the court used to act in a hurry by rashly testifies and immediately decided the case before. But, we have got a chance what we want to claim today. The case has been postponed the hearing date to 7 to 8 months time frame, the way how we wanted. On 8th of July, witness will be founded.We have got more time to choose valued strong witness.”
Twenty of Burmese witnesses were on the Kho Tao Island, where the crime location. The chair person of the upper house, U Khin Aung Myint and divisional governments, Human Trafficking police troops supported to those witness to be able to testify on the case.
During last court date, The Thai Lawyers’ Council requested the court to bring the two foreigners who might know the accident on Kho Murder case. The request was approved by the Judge, said by U Htoo Chit, a spokesperson of special investigation team by the Myanmar embassy.
“As we requested since last week, the Judge accepted it. But, not confirmed the date to be able to testify. It’s meant that, the witnesses will be testified if they were in Thailand at present. If not, detail is not announced yet.”
Within the two foreign witnesses, one is a friend of the victims, and the other one is the guitarist from the AC bar owned by the head of the Island. Both of them departed from the Island the next day right after accident. They were allowed to depart the country and found not related to the murder case after minor investigations by Thai police.
During the crime time, one witness had bloody clothing in his/her room, and the other witness had got the similar wounds on his body like the victims were being attacked. On the other hand, among Thai social media community has criticized on it because they were not thoroughly interrogated before they were dismissed to depart Thailand.
Thus, the Thai Lawyer council also believes that they both can be major witnesses of the Kho Tao double murder case. What if they were not in Thailand, and what could the special investigation team do about it? VOA asked.
“We have to discuss with the Thai Lawyers’ council upon whether it would be able to issue summons or not according to Thai Laws. The Myanmar government’s side is assisting us upon our request and advice as how much they could. If the Thai Lawyers say that, our special investigation team needs to call for witnesses, we will ask to the Thai government via official letter writing.”
Today, during the court pre-hearing time when accused suspects were ask to present the court room, family members and the Rakhine monks were also allowed to meet. For next witness testimony, so the court offered time over half of a year period, there will be the best preparation to gain bail for accused two Myanmar nationals and will try hard, said special investigation team. ///
Translated By: Chan Aye for CSI LA



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