Domestic workers in Hong Kong on a day off. Photo: Asia Times
Domestic workers in Hong Kong on a day off. Photo: Asia Times

A court in Hong Kong has acquitted an Indonesian domestic worker of ransom, after she was accused of blackmailing her employer with clips of their amorous moments.

Instead, the presiding judge ordered the defendant, 34, to be bound over – and not harass her former employer for one year (or face punishment).

The court heard that Maria Susanti Murniati met her 57-year-old partner, an expat living in the city, in a bar seven years ago and the pair started to see each other after that. They began to live together after the man agreed to employ her as a domestic worker in March 2017.

But Murniati was arrested in July and subsequently charged with three counts of criminal intimidation, after her employer passed audio records about alleged blackmail to the police, in which she reportedly threatened to make intimate clips and photos public.

The defendant allegedly warned her employer not to break up with her or terminate her contract, or she would post these clips on social media to make sure he would lose his job too.

She also demanded gifts, including shoes, from her employer, Apple Daily reported.

The defendant was accused of assaulting her employer on multiple occasions, including hurling a glass and a bowl at him once and allegedly threatening to kill him inside their home in Sheung Wan district.

The police retrieved several clips and numerous photos from the defendant’s laptop during their investigation.