TWO MEN said to have admitted the murder of two British backpackers have retracted their confessions, according to reports in Thailand.
The accused, two Burmese migrants, now claim their confessions were “beaten out of them”.
Police said Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, both 21, killed Hannah Witheridge and Leeds University student David Miller on Koh Tao island, claiming they were jealous.
The suspects, who are charged with murder, rape and robbery, appeared before a judge on the neighbouring island of Koh Samui on Saturday.
However, Aung Myo Thant, a Burmese embassy official, has formally retracted their confessions, according to the Bangkok Post.
“They told me that they were on the beach that night drinking and singing songs,” he was quoted as saying. “They said they didn’t do it, that the Thai police beat them until they confessed to something they didn’t do.
“They’re pleading with the Burmese government to look into the case and find out the truth. They were a really pitiful sight. Their bodies had all sorts of bruises.”
On Wednesday, the two men claimed they were beaten and threatened with electrocution by police.
Human rights organisation Amnesty International has called for an independent investigation into the claims and said any confession extracted through torture should be inadmissible in court.
Last week, the suspects wore crash helmets and police vests as they were paraded by officers in a bizarre reconstruction of the crime.
Win was told to play the guitar as part of the reconstruction before acting out the murders of Mr Miller, 24, and Miss Witheridge, 23, on Sairee beach.