Thailand Murder Trial of Two Tourists by Two Burmese Men Has Begun

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Two Burmese men who were arrested and charged with the double murder of two British tourists in Thailand have had their trial moved forward from February to now, according to a report by the BBC News. If they are found guilty, the two men could face execution.

Though 21-year-old migrant workers Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin confessed to the double murder, they have since retracted their confessions. The two men claim that the police tortured the confessions out of them, and they now deny any part in the murders of the two British tourists.

The two Burmese men allegedly committed the double murders of David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, in September, on the island of Koh Tao. In October, they retracted their confessions.

Besides the charges of conspiracy to commit murder, both men also have been charged with entering and staying in Thailand illegally, criminal cover-up and rape. According to Jonathan Head, the BBC’s Bangkok correspondent, the move to begin the trial of the two men from February to now was an unexpected one.

Jonathan Head added that the allegations that the confessions the two Burmese men made were gotten through torture, and that the police acted incompetently, have damaged the credibility of the investigation and the validity of the confessions.

The bodies of the victims of the double murder in Thailand were discovered on September 15 on one of Koh Tao’s beaches. Updates will follow as details about the trial and its outcome unfold.

Written By Douglas Cobb

BBC News
Photo by Ian Fuller – Flickr License