BUKIT MERTAJAM: A mother was charged at the magistrate’s court here today for the murder of her Indonesian maid earlier this month.

M.A.S. Ambika, 59, was charged with murdering Adelina Lisao, 26, while her daughter R. Jayavartiny, 32, was charged with employing an illegal foreigner.

Both offences were allegedly committed at their house in Taman Kota Permai here between March last year and Feb 10 this year.

Ambika nodded her head to indicate that she understood the charge but no plea was recorded from her.

She was charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder which carries the mandatory death penalty upon conviction.

Jayavartiny also nodded to indicate she understood the charge but uttered “tak mengaku” (not guilty) to the offence.

She was charged under Section 55B(1) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 which carries a fine of between RM10,000 and RM50,000 or maximum 12 months imprisonment or both upon conviction.

Ambika’s 39-year-old son, initially arrested together with the accused, has been released on police bond and will appear as a witness during the trial.

“Stop it. Enough. You all don’t know the truth. You all don’t know what really happen,” Ambika told the press as she was led inside a police van after being charged in court.

Ambika was in tears as she told press photographers to stop taking photos of her and her daughter.

Jayavartiny, who had her face covered with her black t-shirt throughout, was overheard telling Ambika not to say anything further but the elderly woman went on and on.

Earlier in court, counsel Muhaimin Hashim represented Jayavartiny while Deputy Public Prosecutor Hamzah Azhan prosecuted.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Hamzah Azhan asked for bail to be set at RM20,000 with one surety.

Jayavartiny’s counsel, however, requested for a lower bail.

He argued that she was only working as a salesgirl and needed to work to earn enough money to hire a lawyer for Ambika’s court case.

Magistrate Muhamad Anas Mahadzir set bail at RM15,000 with one surety and fixed April 19 for submission of chemistry, forensic and post-mortem reports.

Ambika, clad in a Punjabi suit, was then charged with murdering Adelina at the same place at 4pm on Feb 10 this year.

She too nodded her head to indicate that she understood the charge but no plea was recorded from her.

Ambika was unrepresented.

She was charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder which carries the mandatory death penalty upon conviction.

Anas also fixed April 19 for submission of chemistry, forensic and post-mortem reports.

Adelina was rescued from her employer’s home at Taman Kota Permai, Bukit Mertajam, on Feb 10 after it was reported that she was physically abused and was made to sleep on the porch with a dog.

She was found with severe injuries on her head and face, and infected wounds on her hands and legs.

Adelina died the following day at the Seberang Jaya Hospital after suffering multiple organ failure linked to anaemia.

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M.A.S. Ambika, 59, (right) was charged with murdering Adelina Lisao, 26, while her daughter R. Jayavartiny, 32, (left) was charged with employing an illegal foreigner. Pix by Amir Irsyad Omar