Foreign Office voices “real concern” over Thai investigation into murder of Hemsby student Hannah Witheridge

The funeral service of Hannah Witheridge from Hemsby who was murdered on the Thai Island of Koh Tao.

The funeral service of Hannah Witheridge from Hemsby who was murdered on the Thai Island of Koh Tao.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

A Thai diplomat has been summoned to the Foreign Office to hear the UK's concerns over the handling of the investigation into the murders of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller.

Hannah Witheridge.

Hannah Witheridge. - Credit: PA

Foreign minister Hugo Swire told Thai charge d'affaires Nadhavathna Krishnamra there was 'a real concern' in the UK over the way in which the deaths of Miss Witheridge, of Hemsby, and Mr Miller had been dealt with in Thailand. Mr Swire last night said it was crucial for the Thai authorities to investigate the killings in a 'fair and transparent way' and keep the victims' families up to date with progress.

He also voiced concern about the way Thai police had engaged with the media.

Two Burmese workers have been charged with the killings after apparently making confessions, which were reportedly later withdrawn.

Following a meeting yesterday, the Foreign Office 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.


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'Mr Swire emphasised how important it was that the UK and Hannah and David's families received regular updates on the investigation's progress. He also noted his concern about the way that the police had engaged with the media on the case and reiterated that the UK police stood ready to assist with the investigation and subsequent legal process.'

Earlier this month, Mr Swire spoke to Thailand's deputy prime minister Tanasak Patimapragorn about the case.

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Hundreds attended Miss Witheridge's funeral in Hemsby on Friday. And more than £6,000 has been raised for FAITH animal charity in Hickling after the family asked for donations in lieu of flowers.

Miss Witheridge, who was studying to become a speech and language therapist, was buried in her home village on Friday. Hundreds attended the funeral service which her family described as a party to celebrate her life.

More than £6,000 has now been raised for FAITH animal charity in memory of Miss Witheridge after her family asked for donations in lieu of floral tributes. In less than a fortnight, a total of £6,709 has been collected.

The money will help FAITH, an independant rescue centre in Hickling, rehome unwanted animals.

To donate to FAITH in memory of Hannah, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/HannahWitheridge.

See tomorrow's EDP for a special report on the case, one month on from Hannah's brutal murder

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