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A 12-member Burmese team, including legal and forensic experts, arrived in the Thai capital, Bangkok, on Sunday to assist and observe in the case involving two young migrants who are due to go on trial for the 15 September murder of two British tourists on the Thai island of Koh Tao.
The Burmese team, which is headed by upper house speaker Khin Aung Myint, plans to meet Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha, as well as Thai MPs, the Thai Human Rights Commission and Thai Lawyers Council. It also plans to speak to the two suspects, Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun, who claim to be innocent of the charges of rape and murder and say they confessed after being beaten and threatened by local police.
After arriving in Bangkok, the 12-member team met with Burmese embassy representatives and lawyers who have already been involved in assisting their detained compatriots.
Khin Aung Myint and his team arrive with a collection of donations from Burmese MPs. Lawyer Aung Myo Thant said the money will be used to bail out the youngsters.
Meanwhile, Burma’s parliament has sent an official letter to the chairman of Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly, requesting justice in the high-profile case.
English tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were bludgeoned to death in the early hours of 15 September on a secluded part of Sairee Beach. Miss Witheridge was also raped.
After an international outcry, Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun were arrested two weeks later, police claiming that DNA taken from Witheridge matched the two suspects.
However, the Thai police’s handling of the case has been widely condemned. Britain sent its own team from Scotland Yard to investigate the crime scene, but they are yet to release a report.