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29 April 2015, 07:04
Defence lawyers representing two men accused of murdering a pair of British backpackers, including one from Norfolk, in Thailand are set to request key evidence is re-examined ahead of a trial later this year.
Hannah Witheridge, 23, from Norfolk, and David Miller, 24, from Jersey, were killed on the island of Koh Tao last September.
Migrants Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, both 21-year-old bar workers from Burma, are accused of murder. They also face a rape charge and are set to stand trial on July 8.
A pre-trial hearing is due to take place in a court on Koh Samui on Thursday.
The Migrant Workers Rights Network (MWRN), which represents the defendants, said this would focus of the preparation of witnesses ahead of the trial.
The defence team will request that several exhibits be sent to for forensic re-examination and that the Royal Thai Police provide additional information about DNA evidence in the case.
A statement added: ``The court appointment for this case hearing has likely been called because the judges who will consider this case want to ensure the case hearings are managed in a correct manner with speed, efficiency and fairness in line with societal expectations for a fair trial that is also internationally accepted.''
The defendants are said to have confessed under pressure from local police shortly after the killings but have since retracted those statements.
Both of the victims' families have previously said they are keen to see the ``right people'' convicted.
The Witheridge family recently announced they had raised enough money to attend the trial through an internet appeal.
Writing online, Miss Witheridge's sister, Laura said: ``The past six months have been indescribably horrific, I would never be able to expose the hell that our family has endured.''