Prayuth Offers Second DNA Test to Koh Tao Suspects

File photo of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.

BANGKOK — Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha offered to carry out another DNA test for the Burmese migrant workers accused of murdering two British tourists in southern Thailand last month as doubts about Thai police's investigation into the case remain high.

"We will allow suspects to take another DNA test," Gen. Prayuth was quoted by AFP as saying on Wednesday. "If they think that the previous tests were unfair we will conduct a second test."

The comment came several days after British police arrived in Thailand to oversee the murder inquiry, following mounting criticism that Thai police had bungled the investigation and were using the two Burmese men as scapegoats.

Zaw Lin and Win Za Tun, both 21-year-old Burmese migrants working on the island of Koh Tao, have been held in prison for several weeks after police charged them the murder of David Miller, 24, and rape and murder Hannah Witheridge, 23.

The bodies of the two British tourists were found bludgeoned to death on one of the island’s beaches on 15 September.

Police initially said the two men confessed to the murders and that their DNA samples matched DNA traces found on Witheridge’s body.

However, the two men have since recanted their confessions, which they say were obtained by police under duress.

Thai authorities have firmly denied torturing the two men or using them as scapegoats.

This week, the Migrant Worker Rights Network (MWRN), which seeks to protect the rights of Burmese workers in Thailand, set up an online fund to cover the pair's legal fees and ensure a fair trial. 

Related articles:
Thai Police 'Not Embarrassed' By UK Probe Into Koh Tao Murder
Money Raised for ‘Fair Trial’ of Koh Tao Murder Suspects

 

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