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British tourist deaths trial starts in Thailand

Wednesday, July 08, 2015 - 01:10

The trial of two Myanmar nationals accused of murdering two British holidaymakers is underway in Thailand. Paul Chapman reports.

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The Myanmar nationals accused of murdering two British tourists arrive at court in Thailand for the start of their trial. The two migrant labourers are accused of killing David Miller and Hannah Witheridge on the island of Koh Tao last year. Miller had been beaten and left to drown. Witheridge was raped and beaten to death. The men accused of the killings deny murder, rape and robbery. Thai police said the pair initially confessed but they later retracted their admissions saying they'd been tortured. Their lawyer now says there are discrepancies between the DNA evidence held by Thai police and samples tested by British police. Andy Hall of the Thailand-based Migrant Workers' Rights Network says the accused men haven't been given access to vital evidence. (SOUNDBITE)(English) MIGRANT WORKERS' RIGHTS NETWORK ACTIVIST, ANDY HALL, SAYING: "We haven't got all of the evidence that we've requested and there still certain authorities, particularly the metropolitan police and others, who have not been cooperating with the defence team." The families of the victims have travelled to the nearby island of Koh Samui where the trial's taking place. The killings damaged Thailand's image as a tourist haven as the industry was struggling to recover from political unrest that kept visitors away.

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British tourist deaths trial starts in Thailand

Wednesday, July 08, 2015 - 01:10