Defense Team Submits Supreme Court Appeal in Koh Tao Murder Case

By Nyein Nyein 21 August 2017

CHIANG MAI, Thailand – The defense team for two Burmese migrants sentenced to death for the murder of two British backpackers on the Thai island of Koh Tao submitted a 319-page appeal to Thailand’s Supreme Court on Monday morning through a Koh Samui court.

Khun Nahkon Chompuchat, the head of the defense lawyers’ team, told The Irrawaddy that the Koh Samui judge will consider the appeal and that they expect to hear by Wednesday whether it will be accepted.

In this appeal to Thailand’s highest court, he explained that extra care was taken to include as much detail and evidence as possible.

Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun, both in their early 20s, were given death penalties by the Koh Samui Township Court in Dec. 2015 for charges—which they deny—in the Sept. 2014 death of two British nationals: Hanna Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24.

In March, they lost their first appeal to the District Court, which spanned 198 pages and was submitted in May 2016.

“If it is accepted, the Koh Samui court will then refer the appeal to the High Court—the Thai Supreme Court—together with the previous proceedings,” said U Aung Myo Thant, the lawyer representing the Myanmar Embassy’s special team assisting the two migrant workers.

He said that the defense lawyers also met Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun last Thursday, Aug. 17, at Bang Kwang prison, and explained to them further details of the appeal process and the efforts the defense team has been making in support of their case.

U Aung Myo Thant said they are hoping for the best, including the acceptance of the appeal and the upcoming verdict to be made public as soon as decisions made at the Thailand Supreme Court.