2 charged over British couple's murder in Thailand

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Bangkok, Dec 4: A Thai court on Thursday charged two men from Myanmar for the murder of two British tourists on Koh Tao island in September.

The decision followed the prosecutors' review of the 900-page police report into the murder of David Miller, 24, and the rape-murder of Hannah Witheridge, 23, Sep 15, the Bangkok Post reported.

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Thawatchai Saengjaew, chief of the Public Prosecution's Region Office of Koh Tao Provincial Court said that authorities would indict Zaw Lin, 21, on the counts of rape and murder of Miller, illegal entry into Thailand and staying in the country without permission.

Win Zaw Htun, 21, faces the same charges and an additional charge of stealing a mobile phone and sunglasses from Miller.

Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin, who police earlier said had confessed to the murders, later retracted their confessions, saying they had been tortured by police into admitting the crimes.

They retracted their confessions after lawyers from the Lawyers Council of Thailand visited them Oct 21.

Miller and Witheridge were beaten to death and their bodies found semi-naked near a beachside bungalow on the island.

Witheridge's skirt was hiked up to her waist and her T-shirt pulled up. She was raped and had a huge injury on her face. Miller had an injury to the back of his head.

A bloodstained hoe (a hand tool used for gardening) was found at the scene.

The couple had arrived on the island Aug 25.

According to witnesses, Miller and Witheridge were seen partying on the beach with a group of about six people the night they were murdered.

Koh Tao, boasting white sand beaches and azure waters, draws hordes of foreign tourists to its "full moon" parties.

IANS

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