BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha defended a police investigation into the murder of two British tourists on Friday, amid criticism of shoddy forensic work and concern that two arrested Myanmar men may have admitted the crimes under duress.
Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, both 21, were arrested last week for the murders of British backpackers Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24.
The bodies were found on a beach on the southern island of Koh Tao, or Turtle Island, famous for its coral reefs and diving. Post-mortem examinations by Thailand’s forensics department showed that Miller died from drowning and blows to the head while Witheridge died from severe head wounds.
The killings have hurt Thailand’s vital tourism industry, which accounts for 10 percent of gross domestic product. The country is under martial law after a May coup and tourism is struggling to recover from months of political protests
“I would like the media to stop speculation and let investigators do their work,” Prayuth told reporters after landing back in Bangkok following a two-day visit to Myanmar.
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