A 60-year-old Malaysian woman walked free from a murder charge after she was accused of having abused her Indonesian domestic worker Adelina Lisao, who was found dead outdoors in Bukit Mertajam in Penang last year.
Prosecutors told the court in Malaysia on April 18 that they received an order from senior officials at the Attorney-General’s department, seeking the release of M.A.S. Ambika, who was charged with murder, Nanyang Siang Pau reported. Prosecutors said the woman’s ability to get bail did not mean that she was not guilty.
Ambika’s lawyer said there was no evidence showing that the defendant had been involved in a murder despite the domestic worker reportedly dying of malnutrition. The lawyer asked for the defendant to be acquitted on that charge.
The judge said prosecutors had so far not provided enough evidence to support a charge of murder, so it would be unfair to reserve the right to prosecute the defendant for the same charge in the future. The court acquitted the defendant of that charge.
On April 19, migrant rights group Tenaganita posted a statement on Twitter titled “Where is JUSTICE for Adelina?” and started a petition campaign with a hashtag “#JusticeForAdelina”. Tenaganita said it was outrageous to hear that Ambika had been acquitted.
Ambika was arrested in February 2018 after Lisao, 26, died in a Penang hospital of multiple organ failure allegedly caused by physical abuse.
Prior to her death, neighbors said they had seen Lisao sleeping outdoors on the porch of a semi-detached house beside a Rottweiler for more than a month despite harsh weather.