Burmese national Sai Naw Kham, who was sentenced to death by a Chinese court this week, is set to file an appeal against the ruling.
The well-known drug lord and militia leader in the Golden Triangle was sentenced to death by a Kunming court in China’s Yunnan province on Tuesday after pleading guilty to the murder of 13 Chinese sailors on a boat on the Mekong River last year.
Sao Xu Lai, a former Mong Tai Army battalion commander and mentor to Naw Kham, said he is looking to submit an appeal through his defence lawyer.
Naw Kham’s younger sister Nang Hwang told DVB the 43-year-old ethnic Shan has seven children and an ailing mother to look after.
“I pity him very much. He’s a very kind man – he’d help and look after people not just his siblings whenever there’s an emergency. Our mother has diabetes, hypertension and kidney problems and if she finds out about her son, she’d probably die,” said Nang Hwang.
“I am extremely sad and won’t dare let our mother know the news.”
Naw Kham was born in 1969 in northern Shan state’s Tangyang township. He dropped out of school after fourth grade and left his village at the age of 14 and became a rebel fighter in the heroin kingpin Khun Sa’s Mong Tai Army.
Naw Kham was arrested in Laos on 25 April after the Thai, Burmese, Laos and Chinese governments put bounties on his head. He was extradited to China on 10 May.