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Diplomat summoned over Thai murder concerns as pre-trial hearings begin

Diplomat summoned over Thai murder concerns as pre-trial hearings begin

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Diplomat summoned over Thai murder concerns as pre-trial hearings begin

Thailand’s top diplomat in London has been summoned to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office over concerns about the investigation into the murder of Jerseyman David Miller almost a month ago.

With pre-trial hearings set to start today over the murders of David (24) and Hannah Witherington (25) from the UK – after a plea from defence lawyers for more time to prepare was rejected – concerns about the investigation that led to the arrests and confessions of two Burmese immigrants have spread.

A total of 67,000 people have signed an online petition at calling for an independent inquiry into the murders, and a copy of the petition is due to be handed over to Prime Minister David Cameron’s office on Friday.

David and Hannah were found dead on a beach on the diving resort island of Koh Tao off Thailand on 15 September. The police questioned various people before arresting two Burmese immigrants – it has since been claimed that the two have been beaten, and have tried to retract their confessions to the crime.

The concerns have prompted the Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hugo Swire MP, to summon the top Thai diplomat in London - Nadhavathna Krishnamra – to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for talks.

In a statement, the (FCO) said: "Mr Swire stressed that there was a real concern in the UK about how the investigation has been handled by the Thai authorities.

"He said that it was crucial for the investigation to be conducted in a fair and transparent way."

The police say that there is concrete evidence against the two suspects who have been charged with the killings. They also say that they could face the death penalty if convicted.

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