Thai Island Murders: Trial Of Suspects Begins

The trial has begun of two Burmese workers charged with the murder of two British tourists on a backpacker island in Thailand.

Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin, both 21, deny killing Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on the island of Koh Tao in September.

Post-mortem examinations revealed that Ms Witheridge, 23, from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, died from head wounds, while Mr Miller, 24, from Jersey, suffered severe blows to the head and subsequently drowned.

The trial was scheduled to begin in the New Year but has unexpectedly been brought forward.

Both the prosecution and defence presented evidence to the court, but details were not immediately available.

It was unclear when the trial would be brought to a close.

At a hearing earlier this month Nakorn Chompoochart, a lawyer for the two men, said they had pleaded not guilty to a number of charges relating to the deaths.

The pair initially confessed to the murders, but later retracted their confessions, saying they had been threatened and beaten by Thai police.

A Burmese investigator said last week he believed the suspects were innocent but witnesses who might be able to prove this would not give evidence as they feared the Thai police.

The murders dealt a blow to Thailand’s tourism industry, which is struggling to recover after months of political unrest and a coup.

The Government had called on police to solve the case quickly.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We continue to monitor the case closely and expect the trial to be conducted in a fair and transparent way in line with international standards.

“The British government cannot interfere with Thailand’s judicial processes just as other government’s are unable to interfere in UK judicial processes.”

“We continue to provide support and assistance to both the families of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller.”

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26 December 2014 | 10:11 am – Source:


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