Burmese Team to Thailand Amid Preparations for Koh Tao Appeal

By Yen Saning 13 January 2016

RANGOON — The Burmese government has sent a special investigative team consisting of legal and forensics experts to Thailand, where lawyers for two Burmese migrant workers convicted of a high-profile double murder last month are preparing to appeal.

The special team was sent after a discussion between Burma’s ambassador to Thailand, the Thai government and the respective foreign affairs ministries of the two countries, according to a Facebook post by President’s Office director Zaw Htay, who goes by the name Hmuu Zaw on the social networking site.

A meeting between the Burmese team and the Lawyer’s Council of Thailand was held on Monday to discuss preparations for appealing the guilty verdict handed down by a Thai court on Dec. 24, which prompted several days of protests outside the Thai Embassy in Rangoon.

The team has scheduled a Wednesday visit to Thailand’s Nakhon Si Thammarat Prison, where Burmese nationals Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo are behind bars following their conviction in the murder of two British tourists on the Thai island of Koh Tao in 2014. The team is also seeking to extend by one month the deadline by which the defense must file its appeal, currently set for Jan. 24.

The Lawyer’s Council of Thailand has requested that the Burmese government also cooperate with it on other Burmese migrant issues.