By M. Hamzah Jamaludin
PEKAN - A petty trader was yesterday charged at the magistrate's court here with the murder of French tourist Stephanie Foray in Kampung Tekek on Pulau Tioman.
Asni Omar, 36, is alleged to have murdered Foray, 30, at an unnumbered house in the village between 8pm on May 10 and noon on Aug 12.
Clad in orange lock-up uniform, the bearded suspect was calm when he was brought into court and nodded when the charge was read to him.
Deputy public prosecutor Amalina Zainal Mokhtar urged the court to deny the accused bail.
Magistrate Emma Shahriana Ali ordered the case to be transferred to the High Court, pending the post-mortem report.
Asni's family and relatives, who came from Pulau Tioman, Alor Star and Johor Baru, were seen crying when he was taken to a police van after he was charged.
Foray, who worked as a communication officer in France, arrived in Malaysia on May 5 after spending several months in India and Sri Lanka.
After spending two days in Kuala Lumpur, she went to Malacca on May 7 before taking a ferry from Mersing to Tioman.
Foray, who travelled alone, was reported missing by her family in France in June after they failed to contact her.
Police investigations led them to Pulau Tioman where her remains were later found buried in a cave in Kampung Tekek.