De­fence fund launched for Koh Tao sus­pects

Mizzima Business Weekly - - NEWS -

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]

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