Asia-Pacific

Malaysia teacher charged with murdering schoolboy

A Malaysian school teacher has been charged with the murder of a seven-year-old student at a private Islamic school in the northern state of Perlis.

The schoolboy was accused of stealing a couple of dollars from a classmate.

As punishment, the boy was allegedly tied up to a window, caned and beaten for two hours. He fell into a coma and died in hospital three days later.

The boy's death has caused public outrage with the deputy prime minister calling the case unforgivable.

Prosecutors charged a 26-year-old school teacher with murder but he did not enter a plea.

If convicted he could face the death penalty, which is carried out by hanging.

His lawyer asked the court to restrict media coverage of the case, but the judge refused.

This is believed to be the worst case of student abuse in the country.

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