Myanmar suspects indicted over murder of Britons on Koh Tao

Myanmar suspects indicted over murder of Britons on Koh Tao
Tun Tun Htike (L) and May Thein, parents of Win Zaw Tun, suspect in a murder which took place in Koh Tao, Thailand, show their son's photo during an interview in Yangon on December 4, 2014.

The Koh Samui prosecutor yesterday indicted two Myanmar men over the murder of two British backpackers on Surat Thani's Koh Tao on September 15, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) said yesterday.

OAG spokesman Wanchai Rujanawong said Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, both 21, who were illegal migrant workers on the island at the time the murders, have been charged with murder, attempts to cover up a crime, gang rape and illegally entering the country.

Win Zaw Htun faces the additional charge of theft.

Wanchai told a press conference in Bangkok yesterday that the charges put forward by the public prosecutors were different from what police investigators had determined on two points.

The OAG spokesman said the prosecutors believed the 24-year-old female victim did not die from rape, but in the attempt to cover up the crime. As a result, the prosecutors didn't file the charge of rape causing death.

He said the other discrepancy centred on evidence pointing to only Win Zaw Htun stealing the victim's cellphone - meaning Zaw Lin would not face theft charge.

Earlier in Surat Thani province, public prosecutor Paiboon Achawananthakul - accompanied by police investigator Lt-Colonel Pana Senathip - submitted a 900-page case file indicting the Myanmar duo at the Koh Samui Provincial Court yesterday.

The suspects' lawyers are expected to submit an objection soon.

Paiboon said the men would appear in court on Monday morning to hear the charges and make their pleas.

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