Thai murders blame ‘pinned on men’

Published: Friday 17th October 2014 by The News Editor

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The ex-boyfriend of a British backpacker killed in Thailand believes police have “pinned” the murder on two men, according to a friend.

Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were killed last month while on holiday on the Thai island of Koh Tao.

Two Burmese men – bar workers Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, both 21 – have reportedly appeared in court accused of the killings.

But concerns have been raised that the two men are innocent “scapegoats”, and a petition signed by more than 100,000 people was handed into 10 Downing Street today demanding a new, independent investigation into the deaths.

The friend of Miss Witheridge’s ex-boyfriend, who did not want to be named, said the couple had split just four months before she went travelling and he had been left “heartbroken” at her death.

She declined to name Miss Witheridge’s ex-boyfriend but said he had criticised the police investigation into her death on Facebook.

Speaking at a demonstration in Whitehall as the petition was handed in, the friend said: “I never met her but I know her ex-boyfriend – it is just too close to home. It is really, really shocking. Just horrific.

“I have spoken to her ex-boyfriend and he is absolutely distraught. It was Hannah’s birthday a couple of days ago and he was absolutely heartbroken.

“He is posting so many stories on Facebook about police corruption in Thailand and trying to expose it to people.

“He thinks it is a corrupt case and they have pinned the blame on these two men.”

She added: “There should be a new, independent investigation – but it may be too late. They have buried the bodies and it is going to be really hard to dig them up.

“And I think they would have planted the DNA by now.”

Miss Witheridge, 23, from Great Yarmouth, reportedly died from head wounds while Mr Miller, 24, from Jersey, is said to have died from drowning and a blow to the head.

The families of the two men accused of their killings have told the BBC they do not believe they committed the crimes.

Campaigners claim Thai police often blame crimes on Burmese migrant workers and their investigations cannot be trusted.

Melissa-Jane Frost, who works in PR and was among those who organised the petition, called on David Cameron to intervene.

She said: “The Thai police have betrayed these two dead British tourists by conducting their investigation like this.

“The British Government owes it to David and Hannah to make sure this investigation is conducted properly.”

Published: Friday 17th October 2014 by The News Editor

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