Connect with us


Burmese Koh Tao murder ‘guilty’ conviction upheld by Thai Supreme Court





The Thai Supreme Court has upheld the death sentences for two Burmese 26 year old men convicted of murdering two British backpackers on Koh Tao in 2014.

After spending two hours reading the 60 page verdict, the Judge upheld the rulings by two lower courts that found Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo guilty of killing Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on Koh Tao on the night of September 14, 2014.

The bodies of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were found on a Koh Tao beach in September 2014. Police also claimed that 23 year old Hannah had been raped and bludgeoned to death and 24 year old David suffered blows to his head with a garden hoe.

Burmese migrant bar workers Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun (aka. Wai Phyo) were arrested soon after the killing and sentenced to death in December 2015. Supporters, international campaigners, human rights activists, criminologists and the balance of social media commentary say the two were framed and the collection of evidence was bungled.

Today’s ruling marks the end of a long legal battle that pitted the Royal Thai Police force against skeptics who accused the investigators of using sketchy DNA evidence and framed the two suspects as “scapegoats.”

The Supreme Court verdict was read at a court in Nonthaburi where the two men have been incarcerated.

Burmese Koh Tao murder 'guilty' conviction upheld by Thai Supreme Court | News by Thaiger

Migrant rights Lawyer and campaigner for the two Burmese, Andy Hall, tweeted the verdict as soon as it happened today

In the original 2015 verdict delivered at the Koh Samui Court, Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo, now 26 years old, were convicted on the basis of DNA traces police claim were recovered from the crime scene on Sairee beach and Hannahs’s body.

Although no other physical evidence or testimony linked the pair to the crime, the court noted the two men came into possession of a mobile phone that belonged to one of the victims.

Under Thailand’s legal system, an appeal to a higher court, in this case the Supreme Court, is a new trial, merely a re-examination or re-interpretation of testimonies and evidence submitted in earlier trials.

The two Burmese men are unlikely to actually face execution. Since 2004 there have only been three executions, two in 2009 and one in 2018, all by lethal injection. Clemency appeals may be filed to His Majesty the King but only defendants who plead guilty and “show remorse” would be eligible.

Pending some substantial new evidence coming to light or an unlikely mea culpa from any of the investigating Thai authorities, the Supreme Court’s verdict today is likely the end of the case.

Burmese Koh Tao murder 'guilty' conviction upheld by Thai Supreme Court | News by Thaiger


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Tourism2 mins ago

TAT predicts 500,000 travellers before 2022, 133,000 arrived so far

Thailand25 mins ago

Kanchanaburi park ranger reportedly stabbed co-worker, shot himself

Crime1 hour ago

Former Deputy PM Suthep indicted over construction contracts

Sponsored7 hours ago

Hungry Hub Bangkok Rooftop Festival 2021

Transport2 hours ago

New variant casts shadow over Thailand Motor Expo, concerns outbreak could affect the industry

Thailand3 hours ago

Thai porn industry, Forget about Pattaya nightlife, Hualampong station | Thaiger Bites | Ep.72

Transport4 hours ago

Cabinet sets aside over 5 billion baht to improve Bangkok’s public transportation

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Drugs4 hours ago

Men arrested at Bangkok airport for allegedly smuggling drugs valued at 95 million baht

Thailand4 hours ago

Victoria’s Secret Thailand supplier faces labour abuse by laid off workers

Coronavirus World6 hours ago

Health officials say Omicron probably in the Netherlands prior to South Africa reports

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand Top Stories | PCR testing to stay, more restrictions? Lifeguards off duty | Dec 1

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Most face masks on sale in Thailand do not meet industry quality standards

World7 hours ago

Epstein pilot says Trump, Prince Andrew, Clinton all flew on late financier’s planes

Tourism7 hours ago

Cha-am permitted to sell alcohol in restaurants from December 1

Thailand7 hours ago

Possible lockdown, Crypto in Thailand, Transit system improvements | Good Morning Thailand | Ep.143

World7 hours ago

UN boss says global vaccination is only way out of pandemic

Thailand3 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism9 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11