Laos, Thailand send personnel to testify in Mekong River trial

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-9-19 10:12:38

Laos and Thailand will send relevant personnel to China on Thursday to testify in a trial concerning a deadly attack that left 13 Chinese sailors dead on the Mekong River last year, local authorities said Tuesday.

Witnesses from the two countries will take the stand to testify in the case, the Yunnan Provincial Public Security Department said.

Although the incident happened overseas and all the suspects are foreigners, the fact that the victims are all Chinese and that the crime occurred on Chinese ships indicates that China has jurisdiction over the case, the department said.

In the wake of the incident, the Ministry of Public Security called together a special investigation task force and sent investigators to Thailand, Laos and Myanmar to work on the case with police there.

A joint investigation by police from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand found that Naw Kham, core members of the gang and a small number of Thai soldiers planned and conducted the murder of 13 Chinese sailors on two cargo ships on Oct. 5 last year.

Naw Kham, the principal suspect in the attack, and another five suspects will stand trial at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday at the Intermediate People's Court of the provincial capital of Kunming, the court said.

They will be charged with intentional homicide, drug trafficking, kidnapping and hijacking by the Kunming People's Procuratorate.

Thirteen Chinese sailors were confirmed dead after two cargo ships, the Hua Ping and Yu Xing 8, were hijacked on October 5, 2011 on the Mekong River.

The Mekong River, known in China as the Lancang River, is one of the most important waterways in southeast Asia, linking the countries of China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. It plays a crucial economic role among the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries.

Posted in: Diplomacy

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