#Koh #Tao #Murder #Case #Legal #Defense #Team#Closing #Statement

Press Release: 26th October 2015

Koh Tao Murder Case Legal Defense Team Submits 56 Page
Closing Statement as Opinion for Koh Samui Court to Consider

For further enquiries on this press release, please contact:
1. K. Nakhon Chompuchat (Head Defense Team Lawyer nakhonct@gmail.com +66(0)818 473086)
2. Mr. Andy Hall (MWRN International Affairs Advisor andyjhall1979@gmail.com +66(0)846 119209)
3. Ko Sein Htay (MWRN President kzlinn.sein@gmail.com +66(0)946 792478)

A team of pro-bono lawyers working under the Lawyers Council of Thailand (LCT) to defend two Myanmar migrant workers accused of the rape and murder of a female British tourist and the murder of a British male tourist on Koh Tao Island, Thailand in September 2014 today submitted a 56 page closing statement as an opinion for Koh Samui Court to consider in issuing a judgement in the case. The written statement is the final part of a one year effort by a core team of 7 Thai lawyers supported by Burmese, Australian and British translators, assistants and advisors to ensure a fair trial and adequate defense for the accused. Case witness testimony that ended on 11th October 2015 after 21 days of witness hearings involving 34 witnesses and thousands of pages of evidence has already been widely publicised by the media. Koh Samui Court has appointed both parties to the case on 24th December 2015 to hear a verdict.

Hannah Witheridge (23) and David Miller (24) were murdered on 15th September 2014 on Koh Tao, a tourist island in the Gulf of Thailand. The murder investigation was widely criticised both domestically and internationally due to alleged mishandling of forensic evidence and alleged torture both of the two accused and migrant workers living on Koh Tao Island. The challenges faced to Thailand’s law enforcement and justice systems in this case also cast a serious shadow over the safety of tourism in Thailand.

On 2nd October 2014, Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo (Win Zaw Htun), 22 year old migrant workers from Rakhine state in Myanmar, were arrested for immigration offences. Additional charges were then laid against them during questioning for rape, murder and theft related to the killings of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller. The two accused signed confessions during interrogation and also publicly and during questioning re-enacted the crimes.

On 14th October, at a first advance witness hearing in the case, both accused then retracted their confessions to LCT lawyers. Later on defense lawyers received information that the two accused alleged beatings and torture were used during their detention, prior to sending on for questioning by investigation officials, to elicit their confessions made involuntarily. The Migrant Worker Rights Network (MWRN) and rights groups called on the LCT to provide trained lawyers for the accused to ensure they could adequately defend themselves against all the charges so as to ensure a fair trial and also importantly to guard against a potential miscarriage of justice in such a highly publicised and tragic case.

A two month delay in prosecuting the accused resulted from extensive media and diplomatic attention towards the case in addition to calls for justice by the accused, their families and the wider public. This resulted in further questioning of the accused that confirmed that both maintained their complete innocence and insisted their confessions came about involuntary as a result of torture. Multiple criminal charges were then filed against Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo on 4th December 2014 by the Koh Samui prosecutor at Koh Samui Court. The judges heeded calls for adequate time to prepare a thorough defense for the accused and, after a number of preliminary evidence exchange hearings, a 21-day trial eventually commenced on 8th July 2015. Continue reading “#Koh #Tao #Murder #Case #Legal #Defense #Team#Closing #Statement”

#Address #Koh #Samui #prison #SUPPORT #defendants #Koh #Tao #murder #case

Address to post letters of support and encouragement or books/photos to Zaw Lin and Wei Phyo at Koh Samui prison through official channels:
INMATES NAME (Zaw Lin and Wei Phyo – defendants Koh Tao murder case)
95 MOO 5
Keep the letters, photos and other materials coming into the prison to keep the boys entertained and supported.
Although the photos don’t clearly show it, you can see written in write on the right top hand side of Wei Phyo’s t-shirt something. What the words say is ‘Don’t forget me.’
The letters will surely help the guys get through what is likely to be the coming days, weeks and months of detention.
In the end, however, JUSTICE will prevail. It usually always does. cr.andy hall




The Koh Tao murder case accused ‘s defence team has been working closely with REPRIEVE in the United Kingdom to explore the UK police role in the investigation of the Koh Tao murder case.

I have now been given permission by REPRIEVE, REPRIEVE lawyers and Mr. Nakhon Chompuchat, head lawyer for the Koh Tao case defence team, to release the Metropolitan Police response document publicly.
In summary from this document:
– The UK Metropolitan police did not conduct any investigations into the Koh Tao murders in Thailand, had observer status only and did not provide any advice or assistance;
– The Metropolitan Police did not during its visit to Thailand take possession of any evidence, including physical evidence, forensic evidence, exhibits, interviews or statements;
– The police are preparing a report but this is for internal use only and will not be completed until January 2015 – it will not be shared with the Thai authorities;
– No other information will be shared with the Thai authorities by the UK government or police without an assurance regarding the death penalty;
– The UK police do hold some limited information on the case but rely on an exemption under the Data Protection Act to refuse to provide this information (because it would prejudice a criminal prosecution).
This response leaves some major questions unanswered, including the issue of the validity of statements issued by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office on behalf of the parents of the deceased.
For other questions and discussions on this issue/response, the lawyers team welcome public debate that will hopefully result from release of this document in full. CR. ANDY HALL


UK police relied on Thai police interpreter during their limited mission to Thailand, suggests no independent translator provided.
UK police response leaves unresolved issue of reasonableness of FCO facilitated release of statements from parents of Koh Tao case victims



#KO #TAO #CASE :#ANDY #HALL #MAILTODAY #condemning the #UK #Foreign and #Commonwealth #Office (FCO)

!!!! IMPORTANT: Koh Samui court PM session suddenly changes preliminary appointment for considering Koh Tao case evidence 25th Feb to 26th Dec.


Andy Hall
For your information (the sender I removed their name for anonymity reasons but they consented to my sharing the email substance widely), below is a very interesting emailed legal and justice based analysis I received roundly condemning the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for its role in facilitating the release of public statements by the victims family in Koh Tao case on Friday evening.
I received this email today and found it very thought provoking so wanted to share it on my FB page for get more feedback and opinions!
I personally remain confused on: (1) the actual meaning of the statements; (2) reference to an ‘independent’ UK investigation on the case and; (3) the means by which the FCO facilitated the release of these statements and what FCO role was on advising/authorising/editing (or even writing in some way, I assume not the latter however) these statements – I.e. Is the dissemination of the statements justified by FCO in interests of the victims family, to bring clarity (not sure they did that) or could the statements in any way be seen to prejudice the right to a fair trial of the accused?
I draw no conclusions yet so welcome discussion and thoughts
Begin forwarded message:
From: XXX (name removed)
Date: 7 December 2014 14:38:29 GMT+7
To: Andy Hall <andyjhall1979@gmail.com>
Subject: Statements Released by Hannah and David’s families through the FCO
Hi Andy:
I continue to applaud your work on behalf of the B2 and other Burmese migrant workers, and a big congrats on your initial victory in your own case.
I saw your tweets about the statements just released by Hannah and David’s families, and understand you have to be publicly diplomatic and respect them, as well as the British govt. whose help you need at times.
But I personally believe that the British government should be directly condemned for facilitating and allowing the release of these statements.
For what it’s worth, here are my complete thoughts on why:
The sincerity and suffering of Hannah and David’s family should be completely respected. Continue reading “#KO #TAO #CASE :#ANDY #HALL #MAILTODAY #condemning the #UK #Foreign and #Commonwealth #Office (FCO)”

!! #Koh #Tao #case #accused #migrants #Zaw Linn/Win Zaw Tun #retract #confessions

21/10/2557- 2014 Important: Koh Tao case accused migrants Zaw Linn/Win Zaw Tun retract confessions after 5 hours of questioning by lawyers at Samui prison.

Zaw Linn/Win Zaw Tun signed statement just submitted to prosecutor states they didn’t kill or rape victims and were not at the crime scene.

Zaw Linn/Win Zaw Tun’s statement to prosecutor they confessed under duress or violence/torture and now fully retract confession.

Lawyers for Zaw Linn/Win Zaw Tun have just now filed urgent motion with public prosecutor to halt all progress in pending prosecutions


#2 #BURMESE #WORKERS #accused #Koh #Tao #case, at #Samui #prison #GOOD #HEALTH #MISSING #PARENTS

This was the picture I showed to Zaw Linn and Win Zaw Htun at Samui prison today of their parents. Thanks to DVB copyright! The guys proudly pointed out who their parents were on the picture with smiles. With visas already granted to their parents today by the Thai Embassy in Yangon, soon the guys will get to meet their parents in person at the prison.

Once again, on behalf of Migrant Worker Rights Network (MWRN), want to thank prison officials and corrections dept for allowing this visit.

The guys well aware of international interest in their case and wanted to thank everyone who supporting them, but didn’t have other comments

They guys both seemed in good health, did not appear stressed or worried about anything. Said some difficulty with wearing chains on feet.

The 2 guys reported they deeply miss their parents and we showed them the photos of their parents with passports and they were happy

Finished humanitarian visit to Zaw Linn/Win Zaw Tun, accused Koh Tao case, at Samui prison. Officials organised room, unlimited time to chat.

Arrived Samui prison and granted permission to visit 2 accused Koh Tao murder case. Thanks to authorities for their cooperation our mission. CR ANDY HALL


#KOH #TAO #MURDER #CASE #Koh #Samui #COURT #1day

In addition many issue prosecution seemingly hoped to come out did not as key witness said didn’t know forgot or couldn’t see images clearly

Whilst fully respect court decision proceed witness testimony 2day personally believe decision impeded again accused right to fair trial.

Appointed defense lawyers had 30 minutes with accused yesterday and arrived late last night. Right to fair trial means adequate prep time.
Defense team strongly request witness hearing postponed today for 1 month for time to prepare. Prosecution cited fear witnesses abscond. Court refused defense petition and heard the witnesses today.
Today court heard testimony from 3 male witnesses, 2 documented, 1 undocumented. All young. One witness holding guitar at all times.

Samui court Koh Tao case now ended1st day advance hearing of 3 complete prosecution witnesses. All eyes turn back to prosecutor/police.
Next stage police complete case file modifications according to prosecutor request and send back to prosecutor for decision prosecute or not

The 2 myanmar migrant accused in Koh Tao murder case both appeared in court today sitting just in front of me looking calm and seemed in good health, chatting together like young brothers or friends.
When in court, looking at them, couldn’t help wonder if the 2 young small accused myanmar migrants before me really knew they are at center of an international political storm.


Speaking with head of Koh Tao murder investigation police team Major General Paween at Samui court today


Morning,  from Koh Samui island to attend 1st hearing for witness statements Koh Tao murder case 10am Koh Samui court

Accused migrants in Koh Tao murder case appointed lawyers team in Koh Samui prison 2day, an array of Thailand’s best human rights lawyers.


Deeply concerned how defence lawyers, arrived island late 2day, spend minutes with accused, can prepare in time hearing starting 10am 2day

#THAILAND #ANDY #HALL #DEEP #CONCERN #Koh #Tao #murder #case ….

10471253_1542070106025366_7653329707015947564_nExpressing deep concern at this stage with the ongoing public announcements by individuals gaining access to the accused on guilty or innocent status of 2 Koh Tao murder case accused migrants. Voluntary and consensual confidential Thai lawyer and Myanmar accused client relationship now crucial to ensuring the accused can access a fair trial in this publicly debated case. In most normal cases (of which now this clearly is not), trained criminal lawyers would now surely be advising their clients to stay silent. Public suspicion will go on but lawyers need space to work. Guilt/innocence in Koh Tao case will crucially be decided eventually by the courts based on all facts and testimony presented to them and not by police, prosecutors or the general public. Capable and skilled lawyers must now crucially be given time and space to focus on confidential case defense preparation with the accused, having competent and reliable translation assistance at all times, if the accused are to be assured a fair trial. The accused must crucially be supported to make consensual and informed decisions about their lawyers, defence strategy and the nature of public statements made on their case as much as is possible.


I am confused. Who is taking care of them to participate in that legal process wisely??If they are not advised..Which legal team? Is it paid?..

Andy Hall : You ask the very important question Htwe Than, defending these guys properly is not about media statements but about skilled criminal Thai lawyers. This is Thai court system needing practicing skilled and independent thai lawyers


It’s important the 2 Koh Tao migrant murder suspects receive a fair trial, have access to independent/skilled defense lawyers and are provided with trusted and quality translators. This is important whatever they may have or may have not done.
Working with a multi-disciplinary team we will all seek to contribute to a process whereby justice is done and seen to be done in Koh Tao murder case by working to ensure the accused receive a fair trial.
Whilst we cant respond all emails and offers of assistance, if you or your colleagues think you can assist us to achieve our goals in ensuring justice is done and seen to be done in this case, please do contact my gmail account username andyjhall1979