Borneo fisherman sentenced to be hanged for tourist deaths | News | DW | 31.03.2015
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Borneo fisherman sentenced to be hanged for tourist deaths

A Malaysian court has convicted and sentenced a fishmonger to death for murdering British medical students Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger on Borneo island last year. He now faces death by hanging.

Zulkipli Abdullah was found guilty of stabbing Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger to death in the city of Kuching in Sarawak state last August.

"He was found guilty. The judge accepted the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses," Zulkipili's defence lawyer Anthony Tai told news agency AFP.

Both victims, aged 22 years, were medical students at Britain's Newcastle University and were on a six week work placement with a local hospital in Sarawak state.

Police said the students were found dead on the morning of August 6 last year following a fight with several local men at a Kuching bar. The Britons were two days shy of ending their work placement at Sarawak hospital.

Found guilty, Zukipili faces death by hanging. Following the verdict, Tai said his client would appeal the decision.

During the trial, Zulkipili testified he was involved in a fight with two Britons along with two friends and that he punched one of them. However, he denied stabbing them to death with a knife.

"The court ruled that his defense was merely an afterthought. The defense failed to raise any reasonable doubts in the case," Muhamad Iskandar said.

Five Malaysian men were arrested, but only Zulkipili was tried. Officials said the five others would not face charges, but would appear as witnesses for the prosecution.

Two of the men testified saying Zulkipili told them he wanted to "test his power" against bigger and taller foreigners, Muhamad Iskandar said.

After the killing, one of the witnesses said he sniffed his hands and told his friends "the blood of white men smells nice," he added.

Police found a flick knife Zulkipili used in the murder at his home, which matched the stab wounds on the medical students, he said.

jlw/lw (AP, AFP)