Apex court upholds verdict to acquit housewife of maid murder

THE Federal Court today upheld a High Court decision to acquit and discharge a housewife on a charge of murdering her Indonesian maid four years ago.

A three-member panel, led by Justice Vernon Ong, dismissed the appeal by the prosecution to overturn the High Court decision.

But deputy public prosecutor Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar wanted the court to hand S. Ambika a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA).

Justice Ong said the High Court judge correctly exercised his discretion to acquit and discharge the housewife.

The prosecution must give reasons why it does not want to proceed with its case, he added.

“We scrutinised the appeal records and no reason was given by the prosecution (in the High Court),” he said, adding that a DNAA order can be given only if a good reason is provided.

A person who is acquitted and discharged for an offence cannot be charged again for the same offence, but may be charged again at a later date under a DNAA order.

Ambika, 62, was accused of murdering Adelina Lisao, 28, at a house in Medan Kota Permai 2, Bukit Mertajam, Penang on February 10, 2018.

The High Court acquitted and discharged her on April 18, 2019, although the prosecution requested for a DNAA.

The prosecution lost its appeal at the appellate court in 2020.

Ambika, who was in a wheelchair, was present in court today.

Dusuki argued that the deputy public prosecutor handling the case requested for DNAA and told the High Court that she received instructions from her superiors to not proceed with the case at that juncture.

He said High Court judge Akhtar Tahir did not give any valid reason to acquit and discharge Ambika.

Ambika’s lawyer, Baldev Singh Bhar, said the High Court is right to acquit and discharge his client and urged the court to dismiss the appeal. – Bernama, June 23, 2022.

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