DNA Evidence to be Verified in Thailand's Koh Tao Beach Murder Trial

Thai rescue workers wrap the bodies of two British tourists who were found dead on a beach of Koh Tao island, Surat Thani province, southern Thailand. A Thai court has allowed independent verification of the DNA evidence against two suspects in the beach murder of two British holidaymakers last year. EPA/STR THAILAND OUT

BANGKOK (DPA) — A Thai court has allowed independent verification of the DNA evidence against two suspects in the beach murder of two British holidaymakers last year, officials said Thursday.

The defence team for Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo, the Myanmar migrant workers accused of the murders, earlier petitioned the court to have the DNA evidence reexamined.

The judge heard the argument that it was necessary to prevent a "miscarriage of justice," officials at the Samui Provincial Court said.

The badly beaten bodies of David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, were found on September 15 on a beach on Koh Tao, 350 kilometres south of Bangkok.

Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo were arrested in October and confessed to the crimes, but later withdrew their statements saying they were tortured.

British and Myanmar envoys have raised concerns about the Thai investigation, with London sending a police team as observers.

The National Human Rights Commission of Thailand has also expressed concern about the alleged forced confessions. Thai police have denied the accusations of torture or misconduct.

 

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