Death sentences in Koh Tao killings commuted

Two migrant workers from Myanmar on death row for the 2014 murder of two British backpackers on Koh Tao have had their sentences changed to life in prison under a royal decree, their lawyer said on Friday.

Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun were sentenced to death for the murder of David Miller and the murder and rape of Hannah Witheridge, whose bodies were discovered on a beach on the popular tourist island in Surat Thani in September 2014.

The two men were convicted and sentenced in 2015 and the ruling was upheld by an appeal court in 2017 and the Supreme Court in August 2019.

 

The convictions caused controversy, with supporters of the two men arguing that they had been framed and that they had initially confessed to the crimes under duress. The police investigation and handling of crucial DNA evidence were also widely criticised.

Their sentences will be reduced to life imprisonment under a royal pardon, their lawyer told Reuters.

Related search: death, murder, sentences, appeal court

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Writer: Gary Boyle
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