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Saturday November 29, 2008

Yim to appeal against sentence for maid abuse

KUALA LUMPUR: Housewife Yim Pek Ha, who was sentenced to 18 years in prison for causing grievous hurt to her former Indonesian maid Nirmala Bonat, has obtained a stay of execution pending an appeal.

Sessions Court judge Akhtar Tahir allowed her the stay and set bail at RM200,000 with one surety.

Out on bail: A policewoman removing the handcuffs from Yim after the hearing at the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

“I believe that the right of appeal is given by law, so the accused should be given the right to appeal until the final level.

“But at the same time, it does not mean that she is not guilty. She has been convicted beyond reasonable doubt,” he said in his decision yesterday.

On Thursday, Yim was convicted of three counts of causing grievous hurt to Nirmala. However, she was acquitted on the fourth charge of breaking the maid’s nose with a steel mug.

Her lawyer, Jagjit Singh, said Yim had filed an appeal on the same day in the High Court, but a hearing date for the appeal has yet to be fixed.

Justice Akhtar said that he had agreed to the stay of execution as Yim had attended court regularly throughout her trial, and on compassionate grounds as she had four young children, which “ties up to her liberty to pursue an appeal.”

“I also note that she has no prior conviction,” he said.

However, Yim is required to surrender all her travel documents to the court. She would also have to write to inform the court whenever she has to leave the city, which was an earlier condition imposed by the High Court.

When contacted, Jagjit said the bail was posted in the afternoon.

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