Man sentenced to death for murder of French tourist on Tioman island

This article is more than 12 months old

Trader Asni Omar was sentenced to death on Wednesday (July 9) after a court found him guilty of murdering a French tourist on popular resort island Tioman.  

Ms Stephanie Foray, 30, arrived in Malaysia in May 2011 after quitting her job and spending several months in India and Sri Lanka.

The former French civil service employee took a ferry to Tioman five days later and disappeared shortly afterwards.

Her partially mummified remains were found some three months later buried in a cave on the island.

Asni was accused of killing Ms Foray at an unnumbered house in Kampung Tekek between 8pm on May 10 and noon on May 12 after she spurned his advances. 

On Wednesday, a high court in Pahang’s capital Kuantan found the 39-year-old man guilty of the deed.

After the death sentence was handed down, Ms Foray’s mother, Irene Mortel, got up, looked at Asni and wept.

“I was hoping for nothing else. That’s all... I know it can’t change anything,” she said of the verdict as she left the court, together with ​Ms Foray’s father, Joe​l.

The pair had travelled to Malaysia to hear the verdict.

Madam Irene Mortel, the mother of murdered French tourist Stephanie Foray, wept after hearing the verdict. 

Mr Joel Foray, father of Stephanie Foray, standing outside the courtroom.

High Court judge Justice Mariana Yahya said the defence failed to raise reasonable doubt, adding that Asni had “weakened his own defence” by merely presenting a “well arranged story” to deny his guilt. 

Asni, who was sitting in dock, was hugged by crying family members before being led out of the court by police. Asni’s lawyers said they plan to appeal the sentence.

Meanwhile, Malaysian police confirmed that they are investigating the death of an Estonian freelance model as murder after her body was found on Rawa island,​ another popular Singapore holiday destination, 

Estonian model Regina Soosalu was initially said to have drowned but police said suspicious wounds were found on her body.

Johor CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Hasnan Hassan said Regina Soosalu's death on the island off Mersing, on July 1 was initially investigated as a drowning but was changed to murder after suspicious wounds were found on her body.

"We have also detained six persons to assist with investigations, " he said on Wednesday. Investigations are ongoing.

Sources: The Star, AFP

Singapore IslandsMurderTourismMersingdrowning