A Cambodian fisherman charged with murdering his captain aboard a Thai vessel pleaded not guilty in a Malaysian court on Sunday while his brother denied attempted murder, a rights activist said yesterday.
Arifin Salleh, 27, was charged with murdering Thai national Phat Phetpuk in Malaysian waters at about 1pm on the March 27, a crime holding a mandatory death sentence, Aegile Fernandez, anti-human trafficking coordinator of Malaysia-based rights group Tenaganita said yesterday.
He was scheduled to face court yesterday along with his 25-year-old brother Kadir Salleh, who was charged with the attempted murder of a crew member, she said.
“The brothers have been charged with the murder of the captain and the attempted murder of another crew member - a Thai crew member of the boat,” she said, adding that they had also been charged with illegally entering Malaysia without travel documents.
Teneganita were in the process of finding a lawyer for the two brothers, she said, who were being held in a prison in the Malaysian state of Kuala Terengganu.
“That will take place this week, once we have a lawyer we can get more information because the police will not release any other information to us,” she said.
Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday Cambodian embassy officials investigating the case in Malaysia had so far received no further information.
“Our embassy officials are communicating and following the information,” he said.