Court may order retesting of DNA in Koh Tao double murder case

Court may order retesting of DNA in Koh Tao double murder case
PHOTO: The Nation/ANN

A court looks set to commission the Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS) to retest the DNA of two Myanmar nationals who are facing charges of killing two British backpackers in Thailand last year, an informed source disclosed yesterday.

The order is expected to be issued today, according to the source.

The move, if made, promises to clear doubts as to whether migrant workers Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun, both 22, were made scapegoats. Both suspects have pleaded not guilty in court, saying that they initially confessed under pressure from police.

So far, police and public prosecutors have cited DNA results as incriminating evidence against them, prompting their defence team to request fresh DNA tests.

CIFS chief Khunying Porntip Rojanasunan said a retesting of DNA was not common in foreign countries. So far, she said the retesting was quite rare in Thailand and hence she was not sure about the evidence storage process.

"We will have to see the conditions of the evidence first," she said.

The two Myanmar nationals are standing trial for the murder of 24 yearold David Miller and the rape and murder of Hannah Witheridge, 23, on Koh Tao in September.

Much of the defence's case revolves around a bid to retest key forensic evidence, including the DNA on cigarettes and a condom found near the crime scene as well as DNA swabs taken from the victims' bodies.

"The DNA samples taken from the bodies are not my responsibility. They are in Bangkok," Police LtColonel Somsak Nurod added.

The opening day of the trial on Wednesday saw the defence attack the police for failing to cordon off the crime scene quickly enough.

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