Koh Tao Murders: Accused recant confessions, tell embassy lawyer they were tortured

Two migrant workers from Myanmar reportedly recanted their confessions today, telling a lawyer from the Burmese embassy they did not kill David Miller and Hannah Witheridge last month on Koh Tao.

Attorney Aung Myo Thant from the Burmese Embassy made his comments after meeting with the two men, Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, who Thai police said had confessed to the crime.

Read the Coconuts Bangkok feature story: Universal doubts cloud ‘perfect’ Koh Tao murder investigation 

In Burmese media reports, the lawyer said the two men told him they only confessed because they were forced to under torture.

“They told me that they were on the beach that night drinking and singing songs,” he said. “They said they didn’t do it, that the Thai police (along with their Burmese-Thai translator) beat them until they confessed to something they didn’t do. They’re pleading with the Burmese government to look into the case and find out the truth. They were a really pitiful sight. Their bodies had all sorts of bruises. I have already reported all that I have seen today to my government.”

Aung Myo Thant characterized it as a “set up” that wasn’t based on evidence.

He added that he was denied access to a third suspect originally detained, Maung Maung, because police said he is “a crucial witness” they do not want interference with.

Meanwhile Thai police authorities today said they’d met with Myanmar representatives who were “satisfied” with the results of their investigation.

UPDATED: Story was updated to reflect full names of suspects as reported by Burmese media.


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