A Thai court was set to deliver its verdict Thursday in the high-profile murder case of two British backpackers found bludgeoned on a resort island last year, a gruesome crime that focused global attention on tourist safety and police conduct in the country.

Two Myanmar migrants could face the death penalty if convicted of killing David Miller, 24, and raping then murdering Hannah Witheridege, 23, last year on the island of Koh Tao.

The defendants, Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin, both 22, have pleaded not guilty and say they were tortured by police to make initial confessions to the crimes.

The killings tarnished the image of Thailand's tourism industry, which was already struggling to recover after the army staged a coup just months earlier in May 2014.