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Prosecution in Koh Tao case submits final clarifications

Zaw Linn and Win Zaw Tun are escorted by a Thai security officer in this file photo. (Photo: MWRN)

A Thai government lawyer working for the prosecution in the case against two Burmese men convicted of murdering a young British couple on the resort island of Koh Tao two years ago has submitted final clarifications, according to a lawyer for the defense.

Aung Myo Thant, who represents Zaw Linn and Win Zaw Tun, the two men facing the death penalty after being found guilty of carrying out the brutal rape and murder of British holidaymakers Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on 15 September 2014, said that the prosecution’s final clarifications were submitted on Tuesday.

“During the appeal period, the judge asked the prosecutor to give explanations on several points; the ninth and last clarification was given on the 27th [of September],” he told DVB, adding that the court may seek further explanations at a later date.

According to Aung Myo Thant, the case file consists of a total of more than 3,000 pages, including a 198-page appeal of the verdict against the two defendants. He said that the judge would continue reviewing the case file and may also request additional information from the defense in the future.

The appeal, which was filed on 23 May, took five months to prepare. It focuses on doubts about the reliability of DNA evidence that the Koh Samui Court accepted and used to find the two men guilty. A final ruling is not expected until next year.

Aung Myo Thant noted that so far, the court has made far more requests for clarification from the prosecution, suggesting that the judge may feel that there are significant weaknesses in the case against Zaw Linn and Win Zaw Tun.

The lawyer also said that his clients are in good health.

He added that a team from the Burmese embassy in Bangkok has requested permission to meet the men in prison and is expected to visit them on 8 October.