Defence fund launched for Koh Tao suspects
A migrant workers' organisation in Thailand has launched an appeal to raise funds for a legal team to defend the two Myanmar suspects in the Koh Tao murders case.
The Migrant Worker Rights Network said the fundraising campaign was to help ensure “a fair trial for the accused and justice for all concerned in this tragic case”.
It said an estimated US$70,000 would be needed to cover more than 10 months of preparation and court work for the defence of the two suspects, Ko Zaw Lwin, and Ko Wei Phyo, both 21.
They were arrested on Koh Tao in October and charged with murder and gang rape over the deaths of British tourists David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, on the island on September 15.
The suspects pleaded not guilty to all charges at a court hearing in Koh Samui on December 8 and the case has been adjourned to July 8.
“A fair trial for Zaw Lin and Wei Phyo is essential to ensure with confidence that those guilty of this crime are held accountable and that there is no punishment of the wrong people,” MWRN president Ko Sein Htay, said in a statement on January 27.
“That's why MWRN has set up this fund, to support some of the significant defence related costs in this case,” he said.
MWRN said an emergency fund established in October to support lawyers and activists after the suspects were arrested had raised $20,000 which has been spent. [Mizzima]