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2 Malaysians get 24 years for Cambodian maid death

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May 16, 2013 06:35 AM EST | AP

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A court has sentenced a Malaysian couple to 24 years in prison for fatally starving their Cambodian housemaid.

Police found the body of Mey Sichan at the couple's home in Malaysia's northern Penang state in April last year. Medical reports said she weighed only 26 kilograms (57 pounds).

The Penang High Court on Thursday convicted Soh Chew Tong and his wife, Chin Chui Ling, of causing the death.

Their lawyer could not immediately be contacted to comment on a possible appeal.

The death occurred nearly six months after Cambodia stopped sending women to work as maids in Malaysia because of alleged abuse.

Cases involving employers who assaulted their domestic workers, mainly from Indonesia, have occasionally strained Malaysia's ties with some of its Asian neighbors over the past decade.