Torture and intimidation commonly used by local investigators, says a defence witness for two Myanmar migrant workers accused of murdering two young tourists.
Defence witnesses for two Myanmar migrant workers accused of murdering two young British tourists on a Thai resort island testified Thursday that torture and intimidation are commonly used by local investigators.
The three witnesses — a representative of the National Human Rights Commission, a lawyer who interviewed the defendants, and a fellow migrant worker — all described how a violent and abusive system allegedly caused the suspects to make confessions they later recanted.
Defence lawyer Nakhon Chompuchat said it was a problem for his clients' case that other workers were too scared to testify.
The battered bodies of David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, were found Sept. 15 last year on the rocky shores of Koh Tao, a scenic island in the Gulf of Thailand known for its scuba diving. Autopsies showed that the young backpackers, who had met on the island while staying at the same hotel, both suffered severe head wounds and that Witheridge had been raped.
Zaw Lin, co-defendant with his friend Win Zaw Htun, testified earlier this month in detail about the brutal methods Thai police allegedly used during their interrogation and how he was threatened with death if he did not confess. The two men, both 22 and bar workers on Koh Tao, acknowledge being on the beach the night the two Britons were killed, but deny any part in the crime. Thai authorities insist DNA evidence proves their guilt.