Sunday, April 3, 2011
Saudi acquitted of maid torture
Published: Apr 3, 2011 01:35 Updated: Apr 3, 2011 01:47
MADINAH: A court in Madinah acquitted on Saturday a Saudi woman who was sentenced in January to three years in prison for severely torturing her Indonesian housemaid. The sitting judge said there was no evidence that the 53-year-old woman tortured her maid, Sumiati Binti Salan Mustapa, 23, while her lawyer said he would seek damages for his client.
SUMIATI BEFORE TORTURE AND AFTER
The court suspected the truth of the accusations made by the maid because she refused to take her oath in court, the lawyer representing the defendant, Ahmad Al-Rashid, told Arab News by telephone.
However, Sumiati’s lawyer said he would appeal the verdict as there was convincing evidence to prove that the maid is telling the truth.
During the hearing, the Saudi woman “denied everything, saying that the maid had beaten herself,” an Indonesian consulate official said in an earlier statement.
However, when the judge was shown the photos of the injuries, he reportedly admitted them as conclusive evidence proving that the Indonesian woman was tortured by her employer.
Didi Wahyudi, an Indonesian official responsible for citizens' protection at the Indonesian Consulate, confirmed that the employer was released because the maid allegedly failed to produce concrete evidence during trial. In January, a court in Madinah handed down a three-year jail term to the woman employer for stabbing, beating and burning the 23-year-old maid.
At that time, Sumiati's case was taken up by Indonesian leaders, who sought justice for her and called on the Kingdom to ensure more protection for domestic helpers.
In related news, two Saudi women have been arrested on charges of brutally torturing and killing an Indonesian housemaid in Makkah, while another Indonesian woman was found hanged in the bathroom of her employer in Madinah last week.
In the first case, Darwasih Udin, 37, was taken to the Makkah-based King Faisal Hospital, where she was declared dead.
"The maid, who was taken to the Makkah hospital last Tuesday, died because of severe head injuries," said the Indonesian Consulate's Wahyudi.
In the case of the Madinah maid, her identity and the cause of death could not be ascertained and police are treating it as a case of suicide