Lawyers Request Extension of Appeal Deadline in Koh Tao Murder Case

By Zarni Mann 18 February 2016

The Lawyers Council of Thailand submitted a request Thursday to extend the appeal deadline for two Burmese migrant workers sentenced to death for the murder of two British tourists in 2014.

“The council is holding a meeting now in Thailand and they will submit a request to the court for extension, as the case for appeal requires more time to collect evidence such as DNA,” said Htoo Chit, a migrant rights advocate who is leading the investigation team formed by the Burmese Embassy in Thailand.

The court gave a one-month deadline to appeal the verdict, which was set on January 24. Their lawyers’ application to extend the appeal deadline on Thursday—beyond February 24—is the second such attempt.

“Hopefully, the court will accept the request, if they really practice justice for this case,” he added.

A court in Koh Samui sentenced two migrant workers, Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin, both 22, to death on December 24, 2015, for the killing of two British backpackers, David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, on the island of Koh Tao. The murder occurred in September 2014.

Evidence submitted to the court by the Thai police, particularly DNA test results, has attracted controversy and public attention to the case.

A special investigative team formed by the Burmese government, consisting of legal and forensics experts, was sent to Thailand in December 2015.

After the sentencing of the two migrant workers, angry Burmese staged a series of protests in front of the Thai Embassy in Rangoon, urging the court in Thailand to review the case.