Murder victim’s kin: ‘Our hearts are broken’

Murder suspect Harris Binotti

The siblings of the British man murdered in Yangon last year said they will not cease pleading for the public’s help or pressuring authorities until the killer of their brother is brought to justice.
Gary Ferguson, 47, was found dead in a Yangon apartment with head and chest wounds on 6 November.
Myanmar police said Harris Binotti, of Scotland, has not been seen since he and Mr. Ferguson had been drinking together three nights previously on 3 November at the Uptown Hotel on Shukhintar Street in Tharkayta Township. Neighbours reported hearing sounds of a fight among two men and a woman between midnight and 4:30am on 4 November from Binotti’s downtown apartment.
Five months after Mr. Ferguson’s death, with reports that Binotti, 26, may be in Thailand or another nearby country in Southeast Asia, apparently no progress has been made in apprehending the suspect.
“Our hearts are broken,” said Donna Ferguson, Mr. Ferguson’s sister, said yesterday. “But we will never give up.”
Interpol, the global police organisation that facilitates cooperation among international law enforcement agencies, has recently joined in the hunt for Binotti, the prime suspect in the case.
The 26-year-old is understood to have left Myanmar hours after the death of Mr. Ferguson. Myanmar officials previously confirmed that Binotti left on a 4:30pm Thai Airways flight on 5 November to Bangkok.

Murder victim Gary Ferguson, left, with wife Supatchaya Sichompor, centre, and four-year-old son Jeremy.

Interpol has issued an international “red notice” alerting police forces around the world that Mr Binotti is wanted for extradition.
The notice, which makes the manhunt for the suspect a truly international, coordinated effort, states that Harris Binotti faces a charge of murder and describes him as 1.68m (5ft 5in), with brown hair and blue eyes.
“Red notices” are issued to international police forces when the suspect is wanted for prosecution or to serve a sentence based on an arrest warrant or court decision.
Mr. Ferguson’s brother Martin said the family was relieved that the red notice had finally been issued.
“We waited for five months to get this notice, and now we hope for a swift end to this horrible event,” said Martin Ferguson yesterday. “We want to thank the Myanmar authorities for getting this red notice, although slow, we are still relieved it has been issued.”
Martin Ferguson said the past five months has given the suspect time to establish ways to stay underground.
“The suspect will of course have had a lot of time to think about his plan to stay out of justice’s hands and to make up a story that will help him when he is arrested”, Martin Ferguson said. “We would also like to state that we are not happy that the suspect’s girlfriend was allowed to travel from Myanmar as she is the only one who could have saved my brother. Therefore, we want Elsie Devolder to also be marked as a suspect or accessory to murder.”
Neighbours of Binotti in Kyauktada told reporters in November that a loud ruckus could be heard in the early morning hours of 4 November involving two men and a woman.
“At that time we were sleeping, someone was smashing the walls, smashing the floors,” a neighbor said. “At around 4.30am we didn’t hear anything.”
They said Binotti and his girlfriend, named by police as Elsie Devolder, had rented the apartment for several months, mostly leaving for work in the early morning and returning late at night.
Elsie Devolder did not travel to Bangkok on 5 November with Binotti, authorities said, but left Yangon at a later date. Binotti may still be in Southeast Asia, possibly with Devolder, sources said.
Gary Ferguson, originally from Bangor, Northern Ireland, and Harris Binotti, of Dumfries, Scotland, both taught English at the Horizon International School in Yangon. Binotti’s girlfriend was also a teacher.
Mr. Ferguson had worked at the Horizon International School since 2013, while Mr Binotti had been there for about three months.
Mr. Ferguson leaves behind a wife, Supatchaya Sichompor, and a four-year-old son Jeremy.
“We just want Myanmar to know that a great person was murdered”, Martin Ferguson said. “A good father who is not anymore able to provide for his son and his wife. They are left to the mercy of the world.”

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