Koh Tao Murders Trial Begins in Thailand

Two Myanmar migrant workers Win (left) and Saw (right), suspects in the killing of two British tourists, attend a press conference with police on the beach of Koh Tao island in Surat Thani province, southern Thailand, 03 October 2014. The murders trial begins on 26 December 2014 in Thailand. EPA/STR

BANGKOK (DPA) – The trial of two Myanmar suspects accused of murdering a pair of British tourists in the Thai resort of Koh Tao began Friday, officials said.

Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo, both 21, were arrested in October and confessed to the crimes, but later withdrew their statements saying they were tortured.

They were in Koh Samui's provincial court to hear opening statements from the prosecution, a court official told dpa.

The defence was expected to request a postponement on the grounds that they had inadequate time to prepare.

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.

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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