Penang High Court judge Akhtar Tahir said he decided to acquit 61-year-old Ambika MA Shan of murdering her domestic worker, because the deputy public prosecutor was unable to justify requesting a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA).
The judge said the public prosecutor was unable to provide a reason for requesting the DNAA for Ambika despite "repeated questioning", reported Free Malaysia Today based on the judgment of the case.
"All the deputy public prosecutor could say was that she was told to apply for a DNAA," said the report.
As such, the judge exercised his discretion to grant the defence's counter-request for a full acquittal under Section 254(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The judge had also considered Ambika's deteriorating health.
Ambika was accused of fatally abusing her domestic worker, Adelina Lisao, who died on Feb 11, 2018 from multiple organ failure.
The Indonesian’s plight was highlighted last year, after Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim received a tip-off.
He provided photos of Adelina being forced to sleep at the front porch, along with the family dog.
The domestic worker was kept at the porch for a month, and suffered noticeable bruises on her body when she was rescued and hospitalised, dying a day later.
The employer's sudden acquittal on April 18 this year had sparked outrage and demands from various parties, including Sim, for attorney-general Tommy Thomas to explain the decision.
Sim later said he had spoken to Thomas, who allegedly promised that he would personally investigate the matter, suggesting that the latter had not been privy to the deputy public prosecutor's move to request a DNAA.
Sources familiar with the matter had also told Malaysiakini that the prosecution for the case did not consult Thomas, who was busy leading high-profile graft cases against former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, when it moved to request for a DNAA.
However, the contradictions continued when Ambika's lawyer Anbananthan Yathiraju claimed he was informed by the Attorney-General's Chambers that his client would not face further action following the DNAA.
Thomas, when contacted, told Malaysiakini that contrary to what Anbananthan said, an appeal had indeed been filed with the Court of Appeal.