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Indonesia hopeful for justice in maid's murder appeal

Indonesia's National Commission on Violence Against Women has welcomed reported efforts by the Attorney-General's Chambers to appeal against the acquittal of MAS Ambika over the death of Indonesian national Adelina Sao.

Its commissioner Thaufiek Zulbahary told Malaysiakini there are high hopes that the appeal process could result in justice being served for Adelina, who was allegedly abused and died in hospital from multiple organ failure.

"The commission hopes for a fair trial with the submission of strong evidence and independent witnesses towards seeking justice for Adelina.

"Among our areas of concern include any possible power relations between the accused and the witnesses," he said.

Thaufiek also urged the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, through its representation in Malaysia, to monitor the appeal process, in accordance with the republic's law on the protection of workers overseas.

He was responding to Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim, who in a statement earlier today said he was informed by AGC sources that prosecutors have filed an appeal against Ambika's acquittal by the Penang High Court on April 18.

Sim said this was good news for those seeking justice for Adelina, and promised that he will continue to pursue this matter with the relevant authorities.

"This is to ensure that justice is done and seen to be done.

"I reiterate my confidence that the attorney-general, as well as the courts, will uphold justice and the rule of law," said Sim, who had earlier indicated the appeal move.

Sim had brought this issue to light in early 2018 when he was an opposition MP. He is currently the deputy youth and sports minister. 

The case became public when then 21-year-old Adelina, originally from East Nusa Tenggara, was rescued from her employers after Sim's staff had acted on a tip-off and alerted the police.

Ambika was charged with murder, while her daughter R Jayavartiny was charged for employing Adelina illegally.

However, the Penang High Court granted Ambika a full acquittal, sparking public outcry and petitions calling for an appeal.