Taiwan Supreme Court, Taipei. Photo: Google Maps
Taiwan Supreme Court, Taipei. Photo: Google Maps

A 35-year-old Indonesian migrant worker is facing 15 years in prison after losing his appeal in Taiwan’s Supreme Court on Thursday against a conviction on January 1 of murdering his 40-year-old girlfriend, also Indonesian, on Valentine’s Eve last year.

On February 13, 2017, Jaryanto and his lover, a woman named Sopiah, both runaway migrant workers in Taiwan, decided to turn themselves in to police regarding their illegal-worker status, Taiwan Times reported.

The pair sought help from a Taiwanese businesswoman surnamed Chang who allowed the couple to stay overnight at her Indonesian grocery shop in Yilan, northeastern Taiwan.

The pair engaged in a heated dispute, in which Jaryanto brutally kicked the victim in her head and then pushed her head against the wall, as well as hitting her face with metal bars. Sopiah died of her injuries.

The man hid the victim’s body in a cardboard box, but Chang discovered the murder at 9am the following day.

Jaryanto pleaded not guilty to killing Sopiah, arguing that his actions had been involuntary. However, a psychological report by Far Eastern Memorial Hospital showed that the man was mentally sound and well aware of what he was doing at the time of the incident.

Hence the Supreme Court rejected his appeal and upheld his 15-year sentence, after which he is to be repatriated.

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