Thailand beach murders: Police deny Burmese suspects have withdrawn confessions

Thai police also denied claims men were tortured into confessing

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The Independent Online

Thai police have denied reports two Burmese men who admitted to the brutal murders of British tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller have withdrawn their confession, and claim they have “concrete” evidence linking the men to their deaths.

The men, named in reports as bar workers Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, are accused of the brutal murders of Miss Witheridge, 23, and 24-year-old Mr Miller on the island of Koh Tao in September.

Mr Miller, from Jersey, died from drowning and a blow to the head, while Miss Witheridge, from Great Yarmouth, died from head wounds.

The two suspects, both 21, were charged with three offences - conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to rape and robbery - after local police said the men confessed to the killings.

But Burmese embassy official Aung Myo Thant was quoted by the Bangkok Post, citing the Myanmar's 7Day Daily newspaper, as saying the men were tortured into confessing.

On Saturday, a spokesman for the Royal Thai Police strongly denied the accusations of torture as he insisted the confessions had not been withdrawn.

Deputy police chief spokesman Colonel Kissana Phathanacharoen told the Press Association DNA samples taken from the men matched samples taken from Miss Witheridge's body.

He said the men underwent medical checks before and after the inquiry to prove they were not tortured into confessing.

“The accused persons can say anything want,” he added.

"They can withdraw their confessions if they like. We have concrete evidence including DNA evidence from Hannah's body which matched the two suspects.

"The suspects are now under an inquiry by the public prosecutor and are remanded in custody by the public prosecutor. Once the legal documents are completed, the case will then be forwarded to the court to judgment."