BUKIT MERTAJAM, Malaysia - Nine Myanmar nationals have been charged in three courts in Seberang Perai over the brutal slaying of six of their countrymen late last year.
At a magistrate's court here, Bilal Mohammad Ghulam, Mohamad Rafik, Habibullah, Mohd Rafi Shafie, Yassin, Hussain Swaley, Soe Maung Maung, Ali and Hafiz Ahmad, aged between 20 and 44, were jointly charged with committing murder as members of an illegal assembly.
They are alleged to have killed Myo Aung and another unidentified man at a house in Cherok Tok Kun, Alma, here, between 8pm and 9.30pm on Nov 23 last year.
No plea was entered and no bail was offered as this offence, under Section 149 of the Penal Code, is punishable under Section 302, which carries the mandatory death sentence.
All nodded when asked if they understood the charge that was read to them in Bahasa Malaysia.
Magistrate Diannee Ningrad Nor Azahar fixed Jan 30 for mention for the appointment of an interpreter.
Four of the accused were later brought before Sessions Court judge M. Vijayalakshmi where Mohamad Rafik, Bilal and Hafiz were charged with another person still at large with the murder of Htoo Aung in front of a shop in Taman Impian Ria, Machang Bubok, here, at 12.45am on Oct 15 last year.
The three, together with Ali and another person still at large, are also charged with murdering Kyaw Tan Hla, 35, and Tun Yine Maung, 28, at the Kampung Manggis oil palm plantation in Machang Bubok at 10pm on Sept 14 last year.
Bilal, Mohamad Rafik, Habibullah, Ali and Mohd Rafi Shafie were then taken to Butterworth, where they were charged at a magistrate's court with yet another count of murder.
They are alleged to have killed Aung Naing Soe, 23, between 9pm and 10pm by the Bukit Tok Alang oil palm plantation in Jalan Jarak Atas, Tasek Gelugor, on Nov 9 last year.
Magistrate Muhammad Firdaus Abdul Wahab fixed Feb 12 for mention. All the accused were unrepresented.
Late last year, two headless torsos, four legs, two heads, two hands and an arm - all belonging to murder victims - were found in various locations.