Judge Demands Evidence in Ranong Murder Case

By Nyein Nyein 15 January 2016

A judge in Thailand’s Ranong Province has ordered that evidence be presented within nine days in order to charge two 15-year-old Burmese migrants accused of involvement in the fatal September stabbing of a Thai woman.

The court ordered that the two minors—Moe Zin Aung and Kyaw Soe Win—be transferred to juvenile detention, while the two other migrants facing trial will remain in prison pending their trial. All four have been detained without charge since their arrest in October of last year.

The provincial court accepted the case against the four migrants earlier this week. The two adult suspects—Wai Lin and Sein Kadone—will appear in court on Jan. 18 for their arraignment.

Ei Ei Moe, the mother of Moe Zin Aung, told The Irrawaddy on Friday that if police do not present evidence within nine days, “the judge said he would release the two boys.”

The judge also ordered police to respect the rights of the two minors, reminding the officers that “Burmese are also humans,” Ei Ei Moe said.

Suspects in the case worked on fishing trawlers in Thai waters to support their families back home. Their arrests caused controversy amid a forced reenactment of the crime, an irregular search at one suspects’ home and allegations of torture during interrogation.

The case is expected to be highly scrutinized, as it follows closely after a death sentence was handed down to two Arakanese migrant workers convicted of murdering two British tourists on Koh Tao, an island in southern Thailand. The verdict in the case was viewed as highly suspect and the penalty the subject of international outrage.