Accused blank-faced in court

BUKIT MERTAJAM: S. Ambika wore a blank expression as she was led into the courthouse here to be charged with the murder of her Indonesian maid, Adelina Lisao.

The 59-year-old and her daughter R. Jayavartiny, 32, were handcuffed together as they arrived at a magistrate’s court in a police van yesterday afternoon.

Jayavartiny, clad in a black shirt and brown skirt and wearing high heels, covered her face to avoid being photographed.

Ambika, who was in a traditional pantsuit and had both hands in cuffs, walked without covering her face.

Ambika is accused of committing the crime at a house in Medan Kota Permai 2, Taman Kota Permai, at 5pm on Feb 10.

No plea was recorded for the charge under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder, which carries a mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

Jayavartiny was charged with hiring Adelina, knowing that the latter had no valid pass, between March last year and Feb 10 this year at the same premises.

If she is found guilty, the offence under Section 55B of the Immi­gration Act for harbouring an illegal foreign worker carries a fine of between RM10,000 and RM50,000, a jail term of not more than 12 months, or both.

Jayavartiny, who was represented by lawyer Muhaimin Hashim, pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

During mitigation, DPP Hamzah Azhan requested for RM20,000 bail, but Muhaimin told the court that the family was short of money and was raising funds to appoint a lawyer for Ambika.

Magistrate Muhamad Anas Mahadzir then set RM15,000 bail with one surety for Jayavartiny and fixed April 19 for mention of both cases.

Police arrested Ambika on Feb 12, two days after Jayavartiny and her 39-year-old brother were arrested over the alleged abuse of Adelina.

The brother has been released but it is learnt he will testify as a witness in both cases.

Adelina died at Bukit Mertajam Hospital on Feb 11 after being rescued a day earlier from the home of the accused, where she was found sleeping on the porch with a Rottweiler.

Adelina had wounds on her body, and a post-mortem put the cause of death as multiple organ failure related to anaemia.

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