PM blows top over Koh Tao queries
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha lost his temper when a reporter pressed him for a comment on a Time magazine article criticising the police work in the murders of two British tourists on Koh Tao.
"If I rush them [the police] too much, the wrong suspects will be arrested. We're trying to base the probe on scientific evidence as much as we can, and no one will be made a scapegoat. If their DNA does not match, they are not suspects," Gen Prayut said.
Police are meanwhile searching for more people of interest in the murders after they failed to establish any link between any of the people previously treated as suspects.
The son of Woraphan Tuwichian, a Koh Tao village headman, was Thursday cleared because he was proven not to be on Koh Tao at the time of the murders, said Pol Lt Gen Panya Mamen, commissioner of the Provincial Police Region 8.
Mr Woraphan owns the AC Bar, where Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were last seen in the early hours of Sept 15 before they were found dead on a nearby beach later that morning.
Sources said police still have four groups of suspects: foreign workers, male foreign tourists, those who might have had a fight with a victim at a bar, and local community leaders. Police on Thursday admitted they had been unable to narrow their search any further.
Pol Maj Gen Suwat Jaengyodsuk, acting chief police investigator of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, who is heading the investigation, said Thursday he assigned teams of police to delve further into the four groups, the source said.
Police are searching for Thais or migrant workers who are about 170cm tall and wear size 40 shoes, matching footprints near the crime scene. They have collected a total of 171 DNA samples.
The Tourism and Sports Ministry, meanwhile, called on the Royal Thai Police to set up stations in tourist hotspots, including Koh Tao.