UK Police Finish Inquiry Over Koh Tao Murder

A representative of the British detective team met with Thailand’s police chief today before leaving for the United Kingdom, 11 Nov 2014.

BANGKOK — The Scotland Yard has wrapped up its investigation into the murder of two British backpackers on Thailand’s southern island of Koh Tao.

A representative of the British detective team met with Thailand’s chief of police today before leaving for the United Kingdom where he will brief the families of the two murder victims on the investigation.

The UK detective thanked Thai authorities for their cooperation, said Pol.Lt.Gen. Prawut Thawornsiri, assistant to police chief Somyot Phumpanmuang.

“They thank all of the state agencies in Thailand for providing them with convenience throughout their work,” Pol.Lt.Gen. Prawut said.

David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, were found dead on Koh Tao island on 15 September. Police believe Witheridge was sexually assaulted before she and Miller were brutally murdered.

The United Kingdom dispatched a team of detectives to observe the investigation on Koh Tao last month after human rights groups raised concerns about Thai police’s handling of the case.

Thai police failed to secure the crime scene in the wake of the murder, gave confusing and contradictory statements to the press, and now face allegations of torturing two Burmese suspects.

The two 21-year-old Burmese men, Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, are being held at Koh Samui Prison and have been charged with premeditated murder, sexual assault, and nighttime theft.  Thai authorities have firmly denied torturing the two men or using them as scapegoats.

Public prosecutors have yet to formally take up the case against Win and Zaw, citing “incomplete” investigation by the Thai police.