ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Indonesian maid abuse trial opens
Publication Date : 08-01-2013
The first day of trial for a human trafficking case in Brunei began yesterday with prosecution calling four witnesses to testify before the High Court.
Two Malaysian nationals are charged for people trafficking under Section 4 of the Trafficking and Smuggling of Persons Order, 2004.
The married couple, Chiew Wee Tat, 40, and Teo Pin Pin, 40, are accused of recruiting and receiving a 37-year-old Indonesian domestic maid, who does not want to be named, for the purpose of exploitation through forced labour and servitude, by means of use of force, physical abuse and deception against the woman.
Chiew and Teo are individually charged with beating up the complainant.
Teo is also facing a charge of using criminal force with intent to outrage modesty against the maid by using a wooden rolling pin to poke at the maid's genital.
The offence were allegedly committed sometime between March 1-14, 2011, in Kg Kiarong.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Pg Hjh Hana Molina Pg Hj Mohammad assisted by Didi Nuraza Hj Abdul Latif brought four prosecution witnesses which include Hj Fatoni Solahuddin Ambary from the Indonesian Embassy in Brunei.
In his testimony, Hj Fatoni told the court that he had received information from the public that there was an Indonesian who had been abused by the employer at the vicinity of Gadong. He gave the information to the Central Police Station.
Hj Fatoni then met up with four police personnel at the address. A Chinese man then led them to his house where the Indonesian worker was working. Hj Fatoni had also met with the man's wife.
Hj Fatoni said that when he saw the maid, he clearly saw bruises on her left eye. When he asked, she said she had fallen in the bathroom.
When he spoke to her privately, she maintained her answer. The Chinese husband and wife also said that the maid had fallen inside the bathroom and hit her head.
Afterwards, Hj Fatoni asked permission from the couple to bring the maid to the Indonesian Embassy for her to be examined and investigated, to which both agreed.
"While at the Indonesian Embassy, I asked Ibu Rahmah who is the work force staff technician to ask the maid regarding the injuries to her eye. Later, the maid then confessed that both her Chinese employers had abused her. As such, Ibu Rahmah then brought the maid to the police to report the matter," said Hj Fatoni.
The prosecution also called two assistant investigating officer of the case who lodged the police report and detained Teo, respectively.
A crime photographer was also called to testify.
Both defendants, if convicted for the human trafficking offence, could face a fine of US$1 million and up to 30 years in prison.
The assault charge could cost each defendants three years in jail with fine.
Teo, if found guilty for the outraging modesty charge, could face up to five years with whipping.
Chiew is represented by Defence Counsel Ahmad Basuni of Abraham Davidsons and Co, while Teo is represented by Defence counsel Philip Fong from HEP Law Office.
They are released on a US$10,000 court bail and in two local sureties.
Their passports had been impounded and they are to report to the Women and Children Abuse Unit of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Royal Brunei Police Force every two weeks.