KUNMING, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Naw Kham, the principal suspect of last years' deadly attack on the Mekong River which left 13 Chinese sailors killed, will stand trial on Thursday, a court in southwest China's Yunnan Province said Monday.
Naw Kham, head of an armed drug gang, along with other five suspects of the murder will stand trial at 9:30 a.m. at the Intermediate People's Court of Kunming City, capital of Yunnan Province, the court said.
They were charged with the crimes of intentional homicide, drug trafficking, kidnapping and ship hijacking by the Kunming City People's Procuratorate.
Naw Kham was arrested on April 25 at an undisclosed location and sent to China via a chartered plane on May 10.
A joint investigation by police from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand found that Naw Kham, core members of the gang and a small number of Thai soldiers planned and conducted the murder of 13 Chinese sailors on two cargo ships on Oct. 5 last year.
Thirteen Chinese sailors were confirmed dead after two cargo ships, the Hua Ping and Yu Xing 8, were attacked and hijacked on Oct. 5 of 2011 on the Mekong River.
With a length of almost 5,000 km, the Mekong River, known in China as the Lancang River, is one of the most important waterways in southeast Asia, linking the countries of China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. It plays a crucial economic role among the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries.