KOTA KINABALU: The owner of the ill-fated catamaran, which carried the four China tourists who died, has been charged with negligence not amounting to culpable homicide at the Sessions Court.
Vessel owner Chung Ket Siew @ Chung Siaw Ping, 64, her son Leong Vin Jee and the boat’s skipper Sharezza Salian face multiple charges in the wake of the lunar new year tragedy where five people remain missing and 22 survived.
Chung, the director of Golden Sailing Travel Tour and Car Rental was accused of allowing Leong, 44, the company’s operations director, to use the vessel in such a way as to endanger human life.
She was accused of causing the death of China nationals He Runyuan, 46, Wang Jianye, 38, Xie Luo, 49, and Zhang Xiau Kun, 27.
Chung was charged under Section 304A of the Penal Code when produced before Sessions Court judge Noor Hafizah Mohd Salim yesterday.
She was also charged under Section 337 of the same code for allowing Leong to use the boat negligently.
Leong was also charged with negligence not amounting to culpable homicide under Section 304A of the Penal Code for the death of the four.
He was also charged under Section 337 for allowing Sharezza to operate the boat negligently and endangering the personal safety of others.
Both men were also accused of failing to have adequate safety equipment on board the catamaran.
Sharezza, 26, was also charged under Section 337 of the Penal Code for operating the boat negligently causing hurt to the four victims.
He faces a similar charge for causing hurt to the 20 China nationals who survived the mishap.
All three claimed trial to the charges. The court allowed Chung and Leong to be freed on bail of between RM3,000 and RM5,000 for each of the charges.
Sharezza was brought back to prison as he was jailed for six months by the magistrate’s court for a prior conviction.
The Sessions Court fixed June 6 to 16 for their trial.
On March 14, a magistrate’s court ordered Leong’s case to be transferred to the Sessions Court that had been designated to the Tourism Court.
On Feb 5, Leong pleaded not guilty to overloading the catamaran with tourists at 9.15am on Jan 28 after being charged under Section 282 read with Section 34 of the Penal Code.
Sharezza, who was also charged under the same section with Leong, pleaded guilty and was jailed six months by the Sessions Court.
Guide Aman Abdul, 38, who was arrested together with Sharezza on Jan 29, will be a witness in the case.