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Employer Homicide Tribunal: Defense Claims Police Statements Not Voluntary, Singapore News



SINGAPORE – A lawyer defending a domestic worker in Indonesia accused of killing her employer said in court on Tuesday (August 13th) that the maid was in difficulty when photos of her left breast were taken by a male police officer.

Dariati, then 23, was also feeling dizzy, nauseated and in pain from hand injuries.

At the time, she was in a state of "oppression" and was therefore not fit to make statements to the police that day, argues Mr Mohammed Muzammil Mohammed.

Daryati, who turns 27 on Wednesday, was subjected to the stabbing and stabbing trial of Madam Seow Kim Choo on June 7, 2016 at her Telok Kurau home, leaving a 59-year-old woman with 98 stab wounds.

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In her statement to the police, Darryati admitted that she had slit Madam Seow's neck and stabbed her face and neck several times.

The defense argued that seven of the nine statements made between 8 June and 26 July 2016 were not given voluntarily and therefore cannot be admitted as evidence.

An apt hearing to determine the admissibility of the statements began on Tuesday, beginning with the first statement recorded while Dariati was in hospital.

She suffered some injuries in the incident and was taken to Changi General Hospital the same day with the murder.

The next day, forensic scientist Cuthbert Theo was asked by police to investigate the injuries Dariati had inflicted on his hands. Photos were also taken to document the injuries.

Dr. Theo testified that the maid agreed to the study and the photograph. He said he asked her if there were any other injuries to her body and asked for specific consent to undress her.

A police photographer took about 40 photos of her injuries, including two abrasions around her left breast.

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Dr. Theo said she blinked while undressing, but did not cry and object to the study. He had told her repeatedly that she would stop if she didn't feel comfortable, he added.

About an hour after the examination, a statement from Assistant Chief Mahathir Mohamad was taken from her.

ASP Mahathir, testifying in court, said the maid was sobbing at times, but he checked with her to see if she was okay.

Burhanuden chief Hadji Husainar, who was also present, told the court that he was vigilant and could express his answers and pause for reflection.

He said he did not think she objected to the male photographer.

When Mr Muzammil asked why he had no sensitivity to the sex of the suspect, Soup Burhanudin said that the original intention was to take pictures only of the injuries to her arm.

He added that no statement would have been taken from her if she had said it was wrong.

This article was first published in The Straits Times, Permission required for playback.


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