Two Burmese migrants have been sentenced to death after their guilt was established in the brutal murders of two British backpackers in Thailand. At the hearing which held at a court in Koh Samui, three judges found the criminal duo guilty of murder and ordered that they face the death penalty.
The families of Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, finally saw justice done when the murderers were finally brought to book for their heinous crimes perpetrated as far back as 2014. The deceased pair were found in September 2014 on a Koh Tao beach in the Gulf of Thailand that is popular with divers.
Police confirmed at the time that Witheridge, 23, was found bludgeoned to after being raped, while Miller, 24, had suffered blows to his head before being drowned in the sea.
At a court in Koh Samui on Thursday, three judges found the Criminals, Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun guilty of murder and rape and ordered that they face the death penalty.
David Miller’s Family - who had said they wanted to see "justice done fairly and openly" – flew out to Thailand from the UK to attend the hearing but relatives of Hannah Witheridge did not travel for the verdicts.
David's brother Michael, said outside court: "We believe the result today represents justice for David and Hannah.
"David always stood up for justice and justice is what has been delivered today. We respect this court and its decision completely.
"It is our opinion that the evidence against Wai Phyo and Zaw Lin is absolutely overwhelming.
"They raped to satisfy their selfish desires and murdered to cover up that fact. They have shown no remorse during the trial. We believe the correct verdict has been reached."
The court’s decision comes on the back of an investigation and trial which was quite controversial, as allegations of incompetence, mishandling of evidence and torture of the suspects were levelled against the police.
Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, migrant workers from neighbouring Burma who were working on the island, were arrested after weeks of pressure on authorities to solve the crime.
Both defendants, aged 22, initially confessed to the killings but later retracted these statements, saying they had been tortured. Police denied using force during their interrogation.
Prosecutors said the DNA evidence, collected from cigarette butts, a condom and the bodies of the victims, links the two men to the killings.
In spite of several protests by the defense counsel, and accusations of due procedure not being followed, the two men were found guilty and are now sentenced to death.