Chinese court rejects appeal in Mekong River killings
December 26, 2012 -- Updated 1532 GMT (2332 HKT)
- The court rejects the appeals by all six defendants
- Four of the men had received death sentences
- They were convicted in the October 2011 killings of 13 Chinese sailors
(CNN) -- A court in China's Yunnan Province on Wednesday rejected an appeal from six defendants convicted of killing 13 Chinese sailors, said the state-run Xinhua news agency.
Last month, the Intermediate People's Court of Kunming sentenced four of the men to death for the killings, which occurred in October 2011 on the Mekong River.
They were also ordered to pay compensation of 6 million yuan (about $960,000).
Read more: Chinese court sentences drug gang to death over river murders
One of the men is a drug lord identified as Naw Kham; the other three were members of his gang, Xinhua said.
Of the two other gang members, one received a death sentence with a reprieve and another was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Thai authorities discovered the murder scene after boarding two Chinese cargo ships that had come under gunfire.
They found nearly 1 million amphetamines and the 12 bodies, some with their hands bound. One sailor was missing.
The men had been charged with homicide, hijacking, kidnapping and drug trafficking.
The alleged gang was arrested in a joint operation by police from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, according to the state-run China Daily.
Five of the six men are from Myanmar, Thailand and Laos; one is stateless, Xinhua said.
Naw Kham's gang colluded with Thai soldiers in the attack on the cargo ships, the Hua Ping and Yu Xing 8, Xinhua said.
Naw Kham had also directed several of his subordinates in the kidnapping of Chinese sailors and hijacking of cargo ships in exchange for ransom in early April 2011, the court said.
Read more: Opinion: Mekong River dam threatens livelihoods and ecosystems
CNN's Elizabeth Yuan contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
Check out CNN's latest news, commentary, photos, and videos on our China special section.
May 23, 2013 -- Updated 0221 GMT (1021 HKT)
A quarter century after his death, American pop artist Andy Warhol has popped up in China again after his first and only trip to the country in 1982.
May 16, 2013 -- Updated 0225 GMT (1025 HKT)
This month, "On China" host Kristie Lu Stout speaks to guests about China's contemporary art scene.
Proving you don't have to be in France for great artisanal cheese, Liu Yang is teaching the Chinese to appreciate dairy.
You can now visit the city visa-free for up to 72 hours. Here's how to cram the best of Beijing into three days.
May 16, 2013 -- Updated 0107 GMT (0907 HKT)
Who is the world's third biggest smartphone maker? BlackBerry? Guess again. HTC? Nope. It's China's Huawei.
May 8, 2013 -- Updated 1224 GMT (2024 HKT)
CNNGo heads to the capital of China's Sichuan province where numbing peppers rule.
May 9, 2013 -- Updated 0016 GMT (0816 HKT)
The poisoning of Zhu Ling, a college sophomore in Beijing almost two decades ago, has ignited an emotional debate in China.
May 7, 2013 -- Updated 2253 GMT (0653 HKT)
80-year-old Chinese war veteran Duan Keke fought for North Korea in the Korean War. He believes China will prevent war with North Korea.
Share with us your photos and videos of life in China-- the everyday China. The best content could be featured online or on air.
Today's five most popular stories