The trial for the two British backpackers who were murdered on a holiday island in Thailand, which pointed Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo – the two Burmese migrant workers – as suspects, faces another controversy. It turns out that the police involved in the investigation. didn’t check key CCTV footage.
Colonel Cherdpong Chiewpreecha, the senior investigating police officer, stated that the CCTV footage from the Koh Tao pier hadn’t been examined at all after the murder of the two backpackers.
The accused men are both on trial for the murder and rape of Hannah Witheridge, 23, and the murder of David Miller, 24, in Koh Tao island on September last year.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to all the accusations, claiming the confession were forced out of them, and withdrew the said confessions.
Based on the reports, the police didn’t investigate the rumors of an altercation between a young Thai man and Witheridge in the AC Bar, a late-night drinking hole where both she and Miller were last seen prior to the discovery of their bodies.
The defense maintains this same man may have committed the crime before fleeing the island on the boat.
Apparently, the investigators didn’t bother testing the DNA or fingerprints on the alleged murder weapons, saying that a cursory examination using a magnifying glass had already been made, thus DNA tests are no longer needed.
On Friday, the bench finally allowed defense lawyers to request independent retesting of all DNA evidence; however, police have already said that key DNA evidence collected from the victims had been “used up.”
According to Reuters, Kewalee Chanpan – the police forensic expert – said that although the tested genetic material was saved and replicated, it had deteriorated over time.
The defense lawyers of the accused men said that they had received information from British authorities that may possibly prove the innocence of the two migrant workers.
Although they did not give details, it is believed that the evidence came from the examination of the two victims in the UK and is related to DNA found on Wittheridge’s body.