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Fury at Myanmar failure to hunt suspect in murder of Bangor teacher Gary Ferguson

By Allan Preston

The family of a Bangor man beaten to death in Myanmar have said they are outraged that no international arrest warrant has been issued for his suspected killer.

Gary Ferguson (47) was working as a teacher in the city of Yangon when he was killed on November 5.

The suspect is a teaching colleague, 25-year-old Harris Binotti from Dumfries in Scotland.

It's alleged Binotti killed Mr Ferguson in his flat after an argument.

That evening the two had been for a night out at a hotel with Mr Ferguson's wife Supatchaya Sichompor and Binotti's girlfriend Elsie Devolder.

It's since been reported that although local police named him as their prime suspect, they have yet to issue an international warrant for his arrest.

Nearly two months on from the murder Mr Ferguson's brother Martin (50) said the family were desperate for answers.

"It's all going agonisingly slow," he said from his home in Holland.

He also revealed that his family were too distressed to attend Gary's funeral service.

"Gary was cremated, as he wanted to be done in a Buddhistic way. If anything ever happened to him, that was his wish," he said.

"At the time me, my mum and sisters thought because Gary was so bruised, and they do the cremation in an open casket, we couldn't handle that. We're having his ashes sent to Holland. Some of them will also go to another island there in Thailand where he previously lived. The rest of his ashes, we are bringing them to Northern Ireland in the summer. We're thinking about the seafront in Bangor, where we're from."

Gary leaves behind his Thailand-born wife and their four-year-old son Jeremy.

"We're trying to help his wife as much as we can," added Martin.

"She's finding it hard without Gary being there. He was the main provider.

"She's basically on her own now (in Thailand) and will have to find a job to take care of their son. We can only do so much, but we expect a little more from the British Government to get this here on the rails.

"It's almost seven weeks, we've (had) to go through Christmas without him, and it hasn't developed in any way."

The family have since offered a reward for information on Binotti's whereabouts. A fundraising page has so far raised €1,450 (£1,234).

A spokeswoman for the UK Foreign Office said yesterday: "We continue to do all we can to help and support the family of Mr Ferguson at this difficult time.

"We are in contact with the Myanmar authorities responsible for the investigation."

With the case in the hands of police in Yangon, the British Government is unable to interfere or offer assistance in the investigation unless invited.

A spokesman for Myanmar's Embassy in London commented: "We have been told that the British Embassy in Yangon had been officially informed about this case."

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