Families ‘confident’ in Thai probe

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Published: Friday 5th December 2014 by The News Editor

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The families of two British students murdered in Thailand say they are “confident” in the work being carried out to solve the “atrocious crimes”.

Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, both 21-year-old bar workers from Burma, are accused of killing Hannah Witheridge and David Miller in September.

Mr Miller, 24, from Jersey, and 23-year-old Ms Witheridge, from Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, were found dead on a beach on the island of Ko Tao.

The two suspects were paraded in front of cameras after apparently making murder confessions, but it was reported that a Burmese embassy official later formally retracted their confessions amid allegations the pair were tortured.

Amnesty International has called for an investigation into the allegations.

The families of Mr Miller and Ms Witheridge today issued statements thanking Metropolitan Police detectives for reviewing the case, and calling for the investigation to be allowed to take its course.

Ms Witheridge’s family said: “We would like to thank the officers who travelled to Thailand to review the case and the Royal Thai Police for facilitating their visit.”

They added: “We would like to stress that as a family we are confident in the work that has been carried out into these atrocious crimes and want to remind both press and public that they do not have the full facts to report and make comment on at this stage. Current news reporting is causing undue distress to our family.

“We ask as a family, as we have throughout, that we are afforded privacy and that Hannah and David are afforded their dignity during this time of immense pain and difficulty.

“Our thoughts, as always, are with the Miller family. Together we stand united and focused on seeing a fair and transparent trial process to bring about justice for our beautiful children.”

Mr Miller’s family said: “We would like to express our relief that progress is being made in Thailand and this case is finally coming to court.

“We would like to reiterate our gratitude to the UK Metropolitan Police, who received the co-operation of the Royal Thai Police in undertaking an independent review into the investigation.”

They said that while “support for the Myanmar suspects has been strong and vocal” they urged the public not to “jump to conclusions” and said the “suspects have a difficult case to answer”.

Adding: “The evidence against them appears to be powerful and convincing. They must respond to these charges, and their arguments must be considered with the same scrutiny as those of the prosecution.

“Please remember that this is above all a story of two wonderful young people, David and Hannah, killed in the prime of their lives in a senseless and brutal way.”

Published: Friday 5th December 2014 by The News Editor

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