Chilean tourists appeal Malaysia death penalty charge
By Agence France-Presse
Defence lawyers for two Chilean tourists facing the death penalty in Malaysia for murder said Tuesday they are seeking a review of the charge, as the mother of one of the accused pleaded for prayers.
Fernando Candia, a 32-year-old chef, and Felipe Osiadacz, 28, are on trial for allegedly killing a Malaysian man in a hotel lobby less than 24 hours after they arrived in the country for a holiday on August 4 last year.
If found guilty of murder, they face the death penalty which in Malaysia is carried out by hanging.
Both men, who are being held in prison, have pleaded not guilty and their lawyers claim they acted in self-defence after the Malaysian attacked them first.
A defence counsel said Tuesday they have written to the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Malaysia’s chief state prosecutor.
“We have written an appeal letter… to reconsider the charge against both of them,” defence counsel R. Alagendra told AFP.
“We are confident the right thing will be done for them,” she added.
The court has fixed October 24 for the outcome of the appeal.
At least 10 prosecution witnesses have taken the stand so far, including a toxicologist who found traces of drugs in the urine and blood of the deceased.
After Tuesday’s court hearing, Maritza Olcay, the mother of Candia, said she had been praying for her son and appealed for others to pray for him as well.
“I am always praying. I urge all the people to pray for my son,” she told reporters outside the court as she struggled to hold back tears.
Also present in court was Osiadacz’s girlfriend from Belgium who told AFP she also longed for his freedom.
“I want to take him home. He has lost some weight but is psychologically strong. I really believe the judiciary in Malaysia is fair and just,” said the girlfriend, who gave her name as Gaelle.
A court official told AFP the prosecutors hope to wrap up the case by November with three more witnesses remaining, including a policeman and a doctor.
The next hearing is set for two days from November 14.