Two Myanmar men were charged today with the murder of two British tourists in Thailand, public prosecutors said, the latest turn in a roller-coaster case that has been blighted by allegations of a bungled investigation and ill treatment. Police originally charged the two migrant workers with the murder of David Miller, 24, and the rape and murder of Hannah Witheridge, 23, in October, citing DNA tests and later confessions by the pair to the crime on the diving island of Koh Tao. But Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun, both in their 20s, later retracted their confessions, alleging they were obtained under duress, raising concerns over the probity of the investigation. Prosecutors on nearby Koh Samui, where the pair are being held, had for several weeks repeatedly rejected the police file on the case, saying it was incomplete. But on Wednesday they agreed to finally indict the suspects for trial. “[The two suspects] were charged with intentional murder,” Paiboon Archavanuntakun, Koh Samui’s chief prosecutor, said. “Tomorrow afternoon [Thursday], the order will be submitted to the Koh Samui provincial court.” “There will then be a trial,” he added, without giving a time frame. The bodies of Witheridge and Miller were discovered on September 15. A post-mortem examination revealed that the pair died from blows to the head. The killings crippled tourism, which accounts for nearly 10 per cent of Thai gross domestic product, and the investigation has raised serious questions over police tactics. The tourism slump prompted the Thai junta leader Prayut Chan-ocha to vow to swiftly bring the killers to justice. Police said the pair had confessed to the murders and that DNA samples found on Witheridge matched the suspects – despite the fact that the two had at the time yet to appear in court to face any charge and speak for themselves. Both later retracted their confessions, saying they had been beaten and threatened with electrocution – accusations police deny. Alarmed by the initial handling of the probe, which saw reporters allowed to trample all over the crime scene among a slew of apparent bungles, a team of British detectives visited Thailand in November to review the investigation. They are yet to reveal their findings. Thailand is under martial law following a May coup that saw the army seize power after months of political demonstrations, which had already kept some visitors away. Wai Phyo was formerly identified as Win Zaw Htun. The start of court proceedings will come as a blow to the men and their families, who have made impassioned appeals in Myanmar and Thailand for their release. Last month, the suspects appealed to the victims’ families and the British government for help. In a letter written in Burmese, the pair said they had nothing to do with the crime. “This will really assist us in our defence and ensure justice is done for us, our family and the family of the victims,” the letter signed by both men said. “Please don’t be scared to assist us at our time of need.” Rights groups, including Amnesty International, have expressed concerns about the police probe and called for an independent investigation into allegations of ill-treatment. Thai authorities have strongly denied using the pair as scapegoats, insisting their case is built on solid evidence showing the DNA of the accused from initial tests matches samples taken from Witheridge’s body.