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Mekong River murder case verdicts to be announced Tuesday


09:13, November 06, 2012

KUNMING, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Verdicts for the six accused in the Mekong River murder case in which 13 Chinese sailors were killed will be announced on Tuesday, according to authorities of southwest China's Yunnan Province.

On Sept. 20, Naw Kham, head of an armed drug gang from Myanmar, and five of his gang members stood trial at the Intermediate People's Court of Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province for the murder in the waters of Thailand on the Mekong River in the Golden Triangle Region on Oct. 5, 2011.

The same court will announce the verdict.

The 13 Chinese sailors were killed after two cargo ships, the Hua Ping and Yu Xing 8, were hijacked on the Mekong River, an important waterway in Southeast Asia.

Naw Kham, the principal suspect, pleaded guilty to murder. He expressed his penitence to the victims and their families in court.

All six suspects were charged with intentional homicide, drug trafficking, kidnapping and hijacking by the Kunming People's Procuratorate.

The Naw Kham crime ring was busted earlier this year in a joint operation by police from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand after the brutal murders triggered an outcry in China last year.

With a length of almost 5,000 km, the Mekong links China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It plays a crucial economic role among the Greater Mekong Sub-region countries.

Cargo ferries, though briefly suspended following the murders, resumed services on the river in December. Since then, China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand started joint patrols along the river. Most viewed commentaries

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