The owner and skipper of the ill-fated catamaran that sank last Saturday in Sabah have been charged with causing death by negligence at the Sessions Court in Kota Kinabalu, reported The Star Online.
Sharezza Salian, 25, the skipper and first accused, pleaded guilty to the charge.
No plea was recorded from catamaran owner, Leong Vin Jee, 44.
Sharezza was sentenced to six months’ jail by judge Ainul Shahrin Mohamed.
Leong has been asked to return for a re-mention of the case on Monday because he needs a Chinese interpreter.
The news portal reported that the duo were accused of knowingly ferrying tourists on the overloaded catamaran at about 9.15am on Jan 28.
“They had allegedly allowed the catamaran to leave a jetty at Tanjung Aru Lama, hence endangering the lives of the passengers,” it reported.
“Sharezza had pleaded for a lenient sentence as he was poor and had to look after his parents. He is the third of eight siblings.”
A RM5,000 bail in one local surety was given to Leong.
He has to report to the Tanjung Aru police station on the 15th day of every month besides not being allowed to leave his place of residence.
He also has to report to the court if he wishes to leave the district.
In the incident last Saturday morning, the catamaran with 31 people onboard sank after departing the Tanjung Aru jetty.
There were 28 Chinese nationals and three crew members.
Twenty passengers were rescued while three died with a search still ongoing for five tourists and one crew member.