Killing at hotel lobby: Chilean tourists want death penalty charge reduced

The pair are on trial at the High Court over the killing of a Malaysian man at the lobby of a Kuala Lumpur hotel last year.

KUALA LUMPUR: Defence lawyers for two Chilean tourists facing the death penalty here for murder said Tuesday they are seeking a review of the charge.

The mother of one of the accused also pleaded for prayers.

Fernando Candia, a 32-year-old chef, and Felipe Osiadacz, 28, are on trial for allegedly killing a Malaysian man in a hotel lobby less than 24 hours after they arrived in the country for a holiday on Aug 4 last year.

If found guilty of murder, they face the death penalty.

Both men, who are being held in prison, have pleaded not guilty and their lawyers claim they acted in self-defence after the Malaysian attacked them first.

A defence counsel said Tuesday they had written to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

“We have written an appeal letter to reconsider the charge against both of them,” defence counsel R Alagendra told AFP.

“We are confident the right thing will be done for them,” she added.

At least 10 prosecution witnesses have taken the stand so far, including a toxicologist who found traces of drugs in the urine and blood of the deceased.

After Tuesday’s court hearing, Maritza Olcay, the mother of Candia, said she had been praying for her son and appealed for others to pray for him as well.

“I am always praying. I urge all the people to pray for my son,” she told reporters outside the court as she struggled to hold back tears.

Also present in court was Osiadacz’s girlfriend from Belgium who told AFP she also longed for his freedom.

“I want to take him home. He has lost some weight but is psychologically strong. I really believe the judiciary in Malaysia is fair and just,” said the girlfriend, who gave her name as Gaelle.

A court official told AFP the prosecutors hope to wrap up the case by November with three more witnesses remaining, including a policeman and a doctor.

The next hearing is set for two days from Nov 14.