Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Global Impact: Update--Thai Charge D'affaires in London Summoned to British Foreign Office

According to the BBC, the Thai charge d'affaires in London has been summoned to the UK Foreign Office over concerns about the inquiry into the murders of two British tourists.

Hannah Witheridge, 23, and 24-year-old David Miller were found murdered on the island of Koh Tao on September 15.

Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire told the diplomat there was "concern" about how the investigation had been handled.

Two Burmese workers are said to have confessed to killing the Britons, who were discovered on a beach on Koh Tao.

Police in Thailand have denied subsequent reports that the two men had withdrawn their confessions.

Post-mortem examinations found David Miller, from Jersey, died from drowning and a blow to the head, while Hannah Witheridge, from Great Yarmouth, died from head wounds after being raped.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said the summons of Nadhavathna Krishnamra on Monday (October 13) followed a call made by Hugo Swire to Thailand's deputy prime minister and foreign minister earlier this month.

In a statement, the FCO said: "Hugo Swire is stressed that there was a real concern in the UK about how the investigation has been handled by Thai authorities.
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"He said that it was crucial for the investigation to be conducted in a fair and transparent way."
"He also noted his concern about the way that the police had engaged with the media on the case reiterated that UK police stood ready to assist with the investigation and subsequent legal process.

"The FCO added: "Mr. Swire emphasised how important it was that the UK and Hannah and David's families receive regular updates on the investigation's progress."
The men charged with the killings were paraded in front of cameras at a news conference after apparently making confessions.
The FCO previously said it was "concerned" about reports the Burmese workers have been mistreated by Thai police and had raised those concerns with the relevant authorities.
The two suspects, both aged 21, are charged with conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to rape and robbery.
Funeral services for Miller and Witheridge occurred in recent weeks.

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