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‘Samui Times’ to be sued after Koh Tao death story

SURAT THANI: The death case of a Belgian tourist on Koh Tao took a twist yesterday as provincial authorities targeted a news website which ran the story before it went viral.

death, tourism, suicide,


Bangkok Post

Wednesday 5 July 2017, 08:36AM


Surat Thani Governor Auaychai Inthanak receives flowers from tourism operators on Koh Tao during a meeting on the island in Surat Thani province yesterday (July 4). Photo: Supapong Chaolan
Surat Thani Governor Auaychai Inthanak receives flowers from tourism operators on Koh Tao during a meeting on the island in Surat Thani province yesterday (July 4). Photo: Supapong Chaolan

Officials called a meeting with about 300 business operators on the island yesterday (July 4) to contain the damage to their businesses in the wake of the story about the death of Elise Dallemagne.

They decided to assign Koh Pha Ngan district official Krerkkrai Songthani to file charges against the Samui Times with Koh Tao Police Station. The Samui Times would face a libellous lawsuit and a more serious charge of violating the Computer Crime Act for posting misinformation, prosecutor Somkuan Ruangwut said after the meeting.

Surat Thani Governor Auaychai Inthanak said officials are collecting more evidence before taking the case to the police station.

Koh Tao mayor Chaiyant Turasakul supported the decision. “The coverage damages the island’s reputation and we have to take decisive action not to allow foreigners or other people to attack our economy and the credibility of the country,” he said.

The media outlet based on Koh Samui angered authorities and tourism operators after it called Koh Tao “death island” after many mysteriously died there, although they said only two tourists were murdered.

They referred to the murder of British tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller in 2014. Two workers from Myanmar were convicted and sentenced to death.

British International School, Phuket

The case remains under appeal after a widely criticised police investigation.

Mr Chaiyant said the Samui Times’ coverage caused misunderstanding among tourists as safety was their priority when planning a trip.

The Samui Times did not reply to an email for comment sent by the Bangkok Post.

Its coverage on the death of Dallemagne, 30, before the story was taken up by other media outlets prompted police to reopen the case. They are collecting evidence and witness accounts on the island.

The 30-year-old tourist was found dead on April 27 on Koh Tao. Police have concluded that she committed suicide after two autopsy reports by Surat Thani General and the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Police General Hospital confirmed that she died from suffocation.

Read original story here.

 

 

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Christy Sweet | 08 July 2017 - 08:13:55

Reportedy this young woman has attempted suicide before, and has known mental health issues. At this point it's very possible self destructive people are now attracted to the island and "Death Island" is now a self perpetuating myth. 
 As an aside, I believe the correct people were  prosecuted for the double murder of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller, (although one more guilty that the other- and should have had a separate trial.) 

If one does a cursory  google search on the people involved in the assertions the men were "framed" and reads their postings on social media, probably one might find their credibility questionable. 
 There is also a  popular discussion forum that deleted posts contrary to this "framed" narrative such as several references to Thai police labs being accredited under ISO standards.
 

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BenPendejo | 06 July 2017 - 23:22:18

Typical of Thai officials to take action over getting the black eye in the press, rather than taking action to actually ensure tourists are safe on the shady little slice of paradise.  Seems like they really don't care about their reputation until it starts hitting them in the wallet.  I would not let my daughters go there... no way in hell.  Place appears to be "not to be trusted".

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Christy Sweet | 05 July 2017 - 23:27:42

The woman who owns that website is in UK and could not give a rat's whisker if Thai authorities sue her. She is one of the "Samui Gaggle" who are pushing the "murderer still on the loose.." scenario on unsuspecting families all over the globe- Mr. Luke Miller's family for one.

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