KUALA LUMPUR — Two Chilean tourists accused of killing a man in Malaysia were sentenced to two years in prison Thursday after they pleaded guilty to a reduced charge not amounting to murder.
Fernando Candia, 32, and Felipe Osiadacz, 28, were earlier charged with murdering 28-year-old Yusaini Ishak at a Kuala Lumpur hotel on Aug. 4 last year, less than 24 hours after arriving in Malaysia. They had pleaded not guilty to murder, which carries the death penalty, although the government has said it plans to abolish capital punishment.
Their lawyer, Venkateswari Alagendra, said prosecutors offered a lesser charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The men decided to plead guilty to that after considering all options but they are “maintaining their innocence to murder,” she told The Associated Press. She said the two acted in self-defense after the victim demanded money from them in the hotel lobby and tried to attack them with his shoes.
She said the Chileans were tearful and both apologized to the dead men’s family.
The court sentenced them to two years in prison from the day of their arrest, which means they could be released as early as next month and be back home for Christmas, she said. Convicts in Malaysia can get one-third off their sentences for good behavior.