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Anonymous attacks Thai police sites in protest at backpacker murder verdicts

Two Myanmar migrant workers were sentenced to death last month over the murders of two British tourists.

David Miller and Hannah Witheridge
David Miller and Hannah Witheridge
Image: PA

HACKING GROUP ANONYMOUS is taking on Thai police over the controversial sentencing of two Myanmar migrant workers to death over the murders of a pair of British tourists.

The group said yesterday that 14 police websites in Thailand were taken down.

Reuters reported that nine sites were inaccessible yesterday, and said police had confirmed the attacks. There was no confidential data on the public sites, police said.

Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun were found guilty last month of killing David Miller, 24, and the rape and murder of Hannah Witheridge, 23, whose battered bodies were found on a beach in the southern diving resort of Koh Tao in September 2014.

The killings have sullied Thailand’s reputation as a tourist haven and raised questions over its justice system after the defence accused police of bungling their investigation and using the men as scapegoats – a charge authorities deny.

The verdicts have sparked anger and protests in neighbouring Myanmar, and the country’s powerful army chief has urged Thailand to review the case.

Anonymous said in a message posted on Facebook yesterday that Thai authorities were about to send two innocent boys to their “death beds”.

A later post said “Wanna Crack Thailand Police Email? Here are Hash for you…” and listed police email addresses.

Calls dismissed

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha has dismissed calls to review the case.

“They have the right to appeal, right? Laws all over the world have this. Or should Thai law not have this? Is it the case that we should release all people when pressured?” a visibly angry Prayut told reporters last month.

Prayut, who seized power in a coup in 2014, is known for his mercurial outbursts and often colourful statements.

In the days and weeks after the Koh Tao murders, Prayut ordered police to make swift arrests, fearful of the impact the killings might have on the vital tourism industry.

He frequently aired his own opinions about who might be guilty, saying it was unlikely a Thai could carry out such a grisly murder.

Prayut also later apologised for comments suggesting beautiful foreign women wearing bikinis should not expect to be safe.

Thai prosecutors and police insist their evidence against the men, both aged 22, was rock-solid, including DNA found on Witheridge’s body.

The defence disputes the forensic evidence, saying it was improperly collected and processed. They have also accused the police of torturing their clients into signing confessions which they later retracted.

The court in Koh Samui dismissed the defence’s torture allegations and ruled that the DNA evidence proved guilt.

With reporting from - © AFP, 2016

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About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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