Anger as Malaysian cleared of murdering Indonesian maid, Latest World News - The New Paper

Anger as Malaysian cleared of murdering Indonesian maid

This article is more than 12 months old

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 yesterday criticising the "shocking" decision.

Ms Adelina Sau died in February last year after being found outside her employer's home in Penang, with her head and face swollen and covered in wounds.

Her employer, S. Ambika, was charged with murder - an offence that carries a mandatory death sentence in Malaysia - shortly after the 21-year-old 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," Mr Paulsen, a member of the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, told AFP.

In Indonesia, Mr Wahyu Susilo, executive director of NGO Migrant Care, condemned the acquittal and described it as "far from justice".

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 neighbours. - AFP