A 38-year-old Filipina domestic worker charged with common assault and indecent assault of her employer’s bed-ridden husband claimed she did not fully understand the statement translated by the police’s interpreter when she appeared in court in Hong Kong on Monday. The case was adjourned.
Ivy Bongalonta Rebustillo appeared in the Eastern Magistrates’ Court on Monday and claimed the police had arranged for an interpreter for her during her taped interview after her arrest, Headline Daily reported. The interpreter helped translate Chinese into Tagalog, however, the defendant speaks Bicol, another Filipino dialect.
She told the court that she understands Tagalog but she did not understand the legal jargon the interpreter translated and did not fully understand the document “Notice to Persons in Custody” or the questions raised during the police interview.
Notice to Persons in Custody is a document that sets out the rights of a person under detention, which includes requesting that the detained person’s relatives or a friend be informed of the detention, asking for a list of solicitors, asking to be released on bail and being provided with drinking water, adequate food and refreshment free of charge, as well as medical care upon request.
She wanted to finish the interview as soon as possible, she said, and did not think thoroughly before answering the questions and admitted the crime. The prosecutor said she had never informed police she did not understand the content of the statement.
The defendant allegedly hit her employer HS Wong’s husband, a 60-year-old semi-paralyzed man, with a plastic stool and touched his penis in June last year, withe the alleged abuse captured by a surveillance camera at Wong’s home. The case was adjourned until March 1.