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British backpacker murder suspects 'retract confessions'

Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were discovered on a beach on Koh Tao last month.

Two Burmese bar workers accused of killing British backpackers Hannah Witheridge and David Miller have withdrawn their confessions, according to their lawyers.

Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun, both 21, admitted the murders on the Thai island of Koh Tao last month.

But Thailand's National Human Rights Commission said it had found evidence the men had been beaten by police.

Campaigners claim Thai police often blame crimes on Burmese migrant workers and that their investigations cannot be trusted.

UK police have since travelled to the island to probe the circumstances of the deaths further.

Concerns have also been raised in Britain that the two men are innocent "scapegoats".

A petition signed by more than 100,000 people has been handed into Downing Street demanding a new independent investigation into the deaths.


Nick Griffin's doubts over Dr Khan's 'suicide' in Syria

Former British National Party leader Nick Griffin told an inquest that it was possible the death of Dr Abbas Khan in a Syrian prison, had been made to look like suicide or that he was pressured into killing himself.

Former BNP leader Nick Griffin. Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

Dr Khan, a 32-year-old father-of-two from London, died on 16th December 2013 while in custody in Damascus.

Mr Griffin paid two visits to Syria in June 2013 and August 2013 and said during the first, he spoke about Dr Khan to the minister for information, the prime minister and a high-placed businessman who had President Assad's ear.

In further contact Mr Griffin was told that Dr Khan would be released, however he subsequently heard from Dr Khan's mother who told him: "they have killed him."

Dr Khan's family claim he was murdered, but the Syrian government always maintained that the surgeon killed himself and was found hanging in a jail cell.

Mr Griffin said he believed Dr Khan's death was brought about to prevent his release.

I concluded, purely as speculation, is that the way a group would try to stop that [Dr Khan's release] would be to so frighten him, in the light of the horrible experiences in the early days of his detention, that he would kill himself.

– Nick Griffin

Canadian 'terrorist' was one of 90 IS suspects being tracked

The scene after suspected terrorist Martin Rouleau was shot by police. Credit: Reuters

A suspected Canadian terrorist who killed a soldier in a hit-and-run attack was one of 90 people being tracked by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The suspect, named as Martin Couture Rouleau, has since been shot dead.

But prior to the alleged attack Canadian police were monitoring him as a person who was intending to go abroad to join Islamic State militants or had returned from taking part in terror-related activities.

Police also confirmed they had previously seized Rouleau's passport.

It was reported the 25-year-old had tried to join IS fighting in the summer but was stopped by border officials.

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