Supreme Court upholds death sentences for 2014 Koh Tao murders

Supreme Court upholds death sentences for 2014 Koh Tao murders

Zaw Lin (left) and Win Zaw Htun arrive at the Provincial Court in Nonthaburi province to hear the Supreme Court's decision on Thursday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Zaw Lin (left) and Win Zaw Htun arrive at the Provincial Court in Nonthaburi province to hear the Supreme Court's decision on Thursday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The Supreme Court has upheld the death sentences passed by the Criminal and Appeal courts for two Myanmar nationals convicted of the September 2014 murder of two British backpackers on Koh Tao five years ago.

The highest court on Thursday passed final judgement on Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, ruling that all the evidence, including DNA samples and witness statements, proved their crime. The court rejected the argument that police had fabricated evidence and arrested them as scapegoats.

The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence confirmed last year by the Appeal Court, which upheld the Samui Provincial Court's ruling in 2015.

Lawyers for the two defendants argued against the reliability of forensic evidence and the legality of the investigation process.

The pair have been held at Bang Kwang Prison in Nonthaburi since their conviction. They were taken to  Nonthaburi Provincial Court, which is near the prison, to hear the final ruling on Thursday.

Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun were sentenced for the rape and murder of Hannah Witheridge, 23, and the murder of David Miller, 24, on Koh Tao island on Sept 15, 2014.

They were also convicted of the theft of an iPhone from one of the victims. The mobile phone was found near a hotel on the island by police and used as evidence against them.

Learn from listening

Click play to listen to audio for this story, or download to save the file
: :

Vocabulary

  • Appeal Court (Court of Appeal) : a court that decides requests that a decision made by a lower court be changed - ศาลอุทธรณ์ 
  • fabricate: to invent or produce something false in order to deceive - สร้างข้อมูลหรือเรื่องราวที่ไม่เป็นความจริง
  • forensic: relating to the use of scientific methods to solve  crimes or to find out why something happened - เกี่ยวกับนิติวิทยาศาสตร์
  • judgement: the decision of a court or a judge; a verdict - พิพากษา
  • reliability: the condition of being accurate and able to trusted; in statistics, the degree to which the measure is consistent, that is, repeated measurements would give the same result.— - ความน่าเชื่อถือ
  • scapegoat: someone who is blamed for something that is not their fault, especially because someone else wants to avoid being blamed - ผู้รับเคราะห์แทนคนอื่น, แพะรับบาป
  • supreme court: the highest court in a country - ศาลฎีกา, ศาลสูงสุด

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT