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Death sentences in Koh Tao killings commuted

Death sentences in Koh Tao killings commuted

BANGKOK: The two Myanmar men ssentenced to death for the murder of two British backpackers on Koh Tao in 2014 have had their sentences commuted to life in prison under a royal decree, the lawyer representing the two men, Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, said on Friday (Aug 14).

murdercrimeMyanmarpolice
By Bangkok Post

Saturday 15 August 2020, 10:06AM


Win Zaw Htun (left) and Zaw Lin leave the courtroom on Aug 29 last year after hearing the Supreme Court uphold their death sentence for the Sept 2014 murder of two British backpackers on Koh Tao. Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill / Bangkok Post

Win Zaw Htun (left) and Zaw Lin leave the courtroom on Aug 29 last year after hearing the Supreme Court uphold their death sentence for the Sept 2014 murder of two British backpackers on Koh Tao. Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill / Bangkok Post

Myanmar migrant workers Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun were sentenced to death for the rape and murder of Hannah Witheridge, 23, and the killing of David Miller, 24. 

The  victims’ battered bodies were found on a beach in the diving resort island of Koh Tao in September 2014.

Defence lawyers have said the evidence used to convict the two men were unreliable as authorities had mishandled DNA and did not allow independent analysis of the samples.

They also argued that confessions by the pair were obtained under duress.

Defence appeals were exhausted in August.

Many supporters of the two men argue that they had been framed and that they had initially confessed to the crimes under duress.

Internal - Phuket Live Radio 89.5

The police investigation and handling of crucial DNA evidence were also widely criticised.

The death sentences will be reduced to life imprisonment under a royal pardon, their lawyer Nakhon Chompuchat told Reuters, reports the Bangkok Post.

“The two are eligible under a section in the royal pardon decree to get their death sentences reduced to life imprisonment,” Mr Nakhon said.

“They will also have a chance to get their sentences reduced further on good behaviour.”

The decree published in the Royal Gazette on Friday said the pardons were granted to commemorate His Majesty the King’s birthday on July 28.

It was not immediately clear how many other prisoners were eligible for pardons or reduction of sentences under different criteria listed in the decree, the Bangkok Post noted.

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Capricornball | 15 August 2020 - 23:18:24

The next step in Thai injustice.  These poor scapegoats will just have to bide their time until, as K posited, they are quietly released out the back door. Meanwhile, the "influential" murderous criminals on KohTao will keep living their happy lives, Koh Tao and Thailand will be forever tainted, and a few dirty cops can spend their graft.

Kurt | 15 August 2020 - 12:10:34

In a couple of years these 2 framed Myanmar men will be silently released and send home. Can not do it now without loose face of  the Thai ' justice ' system.

 

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