CHIANG MAI – The mother of a murdered backpacker has urged the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to do more to help families whose relatives are killed abroad.
Kirsty Jones, 23, from Tredomen, near Brecon, Powys was raped and strangled in Thailand in 2000.
Sue Jones is annoyed she has had no response to a Freedom of Information request to have murder investigation files released.
The FCO said it would meet any family concerned about a death overseas.
Mrs Jones supported a protest by about 20 families, in a similar situation to her, outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London on Wednesday.
She said she had been trying to persuade the Foreign Office to release documents relating to her daughter’s murder for six months, but UK government officials had claimed the information could harm diplomatic relations or prejudice a future court case.
“As far as I’m concerned communication is their (the Foreign Office’s) biggest problem,” said Mrs Jones.
“They can only do as much as they’re allowed to do but claiming that these documents could damage diplomatic relations is ridiculous.
“All we want to know is what happened and we want justice.”
Mrs Jones was unable to attend the protest in person.
But she said: “I supported what the other families were doing in London yesterday. Some of those families don’t even know the circumstances of their relatives’ deaths.”
She added: “I don’t know if the documents I’ve asked to be released are crucial or if they hold something that we already know about.
‘Incredibly difficult time‘
“I think sometimes the Foreign Office and the (UK) government could push a little bit more with their counterparts abroad. They must understand that all we want is closure.”
Kirsty Jones, a Liverpool University graduate, was killed in Chiang Ma in northern Thailand just three months into a two-year trip around the world in August, 2000.
Since then, Mrs Jones has worked tirelessly to try to bring her daughter’s murderer is brought to justice, even travelling to Thailand with Welsh police last year to publicise a £10,000 reward for information.
But, despite numerous appeals, her daughter’s killer has never been found.
In response, the FCO said in a statement: “The FCO will meet with any family who is concerned about the death of a loved one overseas.
“This is an incredibly difficult time for any family and the FCO has teams of trained professionals in the UK and across the world ready to offer support.
“Every year, over 6,000 British nationals die overseas, and the FCO offers to provide consular support to every single family in conjunction with a range of partners including the police and coroner services.
It added: “However, investigation of the death of any British national is a matter for the judicial process of the country they died in, and we must respect their systems just as we expect them to respect the UK’s laws and legal processes.” – BBC
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