Anger as Malaysian cleared of murdering Indonesian maid

In this file photo taken on February 17, 2018, Petronela Koa cries next to the coffin containing her niece Adelina Sau, a domestic helper who died in Malaysia, during its arrival at Kupang airport in East Nusa Tenggara. (AFP)
Updated 23 April 2019
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Anger as Malaysian cleared of murdering Indonesian maid

  • Allegations of maid abuse, ranging from overwork to beatings and sex attacks, are a regular diplomatic flashpoint between the Southeast Asian neighbors

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian woman has reportedly been cleared of murdering her Indonesian maid, who was allegedly tortured and forced to sleep outside with a dog, with activists Monday criticizing the “shocking” decision.
Adelina Sau died in February last year after being found outside her employer’s home on the northern Malaysian island of Penang, with her head and face swollen and covered in wounds.
Many Indonesian maids work in more affluent Malaysia and tales of abuse are common, but the horrific nature of Sau’s case generated headlines and sparked diplomatic tensions between the neighbors.
Her employer, S. Ambika, was charged with murder — an offense that carries a mandatory death sentence in Malaysia — shortly after the 21-year-old was rescued and died in hospital.
But the High Court in Penang dropped the murder charge against her last week, local media reported, without saying why.
Prominent Malaysian human rights lawyer Eric Paulsen called the decision “shocking and unacceptable.”
“This was one of the most public and harrowing abuse cases ever recorded and yet the attorney-general’s chambers somehow saw fit to drop the charge,” Paulsen, a member of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, told AFP.
Steven Sim, an MP from the area where Sau died, said the court decision was “as tragic as the death of Adelina.”
Sim said he had contacted the attorney-general, Tommy Thomas, who had vowed to look into the case.
In Indonesia, Wahyu Susilo, executive director of NGO Migrant Care, condemned the acquittal and described it as “far from justice.”
He said the employer may have been cleared due to a failure to get key witnesses, such as Sau’s parents, to testify at the trial, and called on Jakarta to lodge a protest.
Her murder caused anger in Indonesia, with the foreign minister branding it unacceptable.
Allegations of maid abuse, ranging from overwork to beatings and sex attacks, are a regular diplomatic flashpoint between the Southeast Asian neighbors.


Man arrested for London mosque shooting

Updated 41 min 3 sec ago
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Man arrested for London mosque shooting

  • The suspect was charged with possession of firearms with intent to cause harm or fear
  • Police say the suspect may have had a fight earlier in a nearby street

DUBAI: A man has been arrested after he fired a gun in a London mosque, UK daily The Metro reported.

The man entered the Seven Kings Mosque in London, on Thursday, May 9, while worshippers performed Ramadan prayers and fired a gun, the report added.

He was arrested on charges of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
There were no reports of injuries or damages to the building, ballistic evidence suggests the detainee may have used a blank-firing handgun, police said.

Police investigations said it is possible the incident started after an earlier argument in a nearby street.

A mosque attendee, Ibraheem Hussain, said he heard the gunshot almost half an hour after prayers began, adding that he was concerned for the safety of worshippers.

“(Christchurch) comes to mind, it’s crazy to think this would happen in London, especially after everything that has happened,” he told Metro.