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Couple Accused Of Killing Maid Gets 20 Years Jail After Federal Court Amends Murder Charge

The Indonesian maid starved to death at the couple's residence in Petaling Jaya.

Cover image via AFP/Getty Images

A Malaysian couple, who were initially sentenced to death for murdering their Indonesian maid, managed to escape the gallows after the Federal Court on Wednesday, 4 April 2018, amended the charge from murder to culpable homicide not amounting to murder

File photo of the accused couple at the Shah Alam High Court.

Image via AFP/Getty Images

The 62-year-old husband and his 60-year-old wife have now been sentenced to 20 years in jail instead by a five-man bench led by Court of Appeal president Justice Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin

The couple's 20-year-long jail term was ordered to run from the date they were remanded on 5 June 2011. The husband Fong Kong Meng and his wife Teoh Ching Yen have been in jail since their remand.

The panel made the ruling after allowing the couple's appeal against the death sentence that was awarded to them by the High Court in Shah Alam on 6 March 2014.

While the couple were found guilty of murdering their 26-year-old maid, Isti Komariah, at their house in Petaling Jaya, Justice Zulkefli said that the prosecution had failed to prove its case on murder

Justice Zulkefli said that after considering arguments from both sides, the court found that the prosecution had failed to prove its case on murder and that the evidence placed the case under Section 304(a) of the Penal Code.

"We find that the evidence, in this case, falls under Section 304(a) of the Penal Code (which deals with Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder)."

Their lawyer asked for leniency saying that they were remanded for seven years and the wife was suffering from breast cancer

However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Hamzah Ismail asked for a deterrent sentence saying that the victim had suffered starvation. The DPP argued that it was couple's duty to provide their maid with food but they failed.

"In this case, the maximum (jail) sentence is 30 years, I ask for 25 years for both appellants," DPP Ismail told the court.

When the DPP was asked whether he asked for the same sentence even though the wife was suffering from cancer, he replied: "The prison can take her to the hospital."

File photo of Fong Kong Meng and his wife Teoh Ching Yen being escorted out.

Image via AFP/GETTY IMAGES

According to the facts of the case, the couple's maid was so underfed that she only weighed 26kg at the time of her death

She weighed 49kg when she first started working for the couple.

The maid, who was from East Java and started working for the couple in December 2008, was brought by the couple to the University of Malaya Medical Centre at Petaling Jaya in June 2011. She, however, died upon arrival at the hospital.

Meanwhile, a female passenger on an AirAsia flight from KL to Hong Kong was shamed after she decided to "upgrade" herself to a row of empty premium seats and make herself comfortable there:

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