2 Myanmer men on death row for 2014 Koh Tao murders launch final appeal
The two Myanmar nationals on death row for the savage 2014 murders of British backpackers Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on Koh Tao filed their last appeal today.
This 300-page document, handed in to the Supreme Court, states that the forensic eveidence, including DNA tests used to convict migrant workers Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, both 22, was not carried out according to international forensic standards, reported Bangkok Post.
Lawyer Nakhon Chompuchat, leader of the men’s defense team, was turned down by the Appeal Court in March.
The Appeal Court ruled that the evidence was collected correctly and that the men had committed the rape of Witheridge and both murders “without a doubt” on Sept. 15, 2014. The death sentence was upheld for both men.
Nakhon still maintains that problems ranging from custody of the DNA samples during the investigation to how the men were charged and interrogated prevailed. The lawyer also pointed out that a proper interpreter or legal representation was not provided early in the case for the two convicted young men.
In advance of today’s appeal, Nakhon met officials from Myanmar to coordinate information as well as meeting his clients at Bang Kwang Central Prison to get their signatures on the final documents. He said that his clients still hope for justice.
Migrant rights groups have suggested at various points that the men were being railroaded, and the government of Myanmar protested the initial guilty verdict, saying at the time that the men were being “wrongly punished.”