Malaysian Judge Mohamad Zawawi Salleh has convicted five people – three of them brothers from Mexico– of drug trafficking and sentenced them to death.
The defense made the claim that the evidence against the defendants had been tampered with and that they had only been cleaning the drug-making factory at which they were found, not making or transporting the drugs.
Of the five convicted, one is from Singapore and another from Malaysia. The remaining three are brothers – Luis Alfonso Gonzalez Villarreal, 44, Simon Gonzalez Villarreal, 37, and Jose Regino Gonzalez Villarreal, 33 – who hail from the drug-riddled Mexican state of Sinaloa.
Eldest brother Luis told reporters he and his brothers were very upset upon hearing the verdict, saying they believed they would be acquitted.
When they were arrested in 2008, police reportedly found more than 63 pounds of methamphetamine, worth about $15 million.
During the sentencing, Judge Zawawi Salleh stated, “The court finds all five accused are aware and are involved in the activity of drug-making.”
The sentence calls for death by hanging, and the Mexican government has yet to intervene on the matter.
The brothers did not have a record in their native Mexico and their family says they made their living Mexico making and selling bricks. They added the brothers left for Malaysia in search of work, and gave no indication they were involved in the drug trade.