On 19 April this year, the woman who was accused of abusing and murdering her maid in 2018 was set free mid-trial
The employer had repeatedly abused 21-year-old Adelina Liaso, forced her to sleep on the house's porch with their dog, and rarely provided her with food.
The Indonesian national died on 10 February 2018.
61-year-old Ambika MA Shan was charged with the maid's murder under Section 302 of the Penal Code, which carries a mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
A judge from the Penang High Court has now revealed the reason for her acquittal
According to Judge Datuk Akhtar Tahir, the government lawyer did not offer valid grounds for a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA).
He said that even after repeated questioning by the court about the reason for such an application, all the deputy public prosecutor could say was that she was told to apply for a DNAA, Free Malaysia Today reported.
Furthermore, the defence lawyer had urged the court to grant an acquittal citing the accused's age and health.
"She is over 60 years old and has health issues," the judge said.
"Based on Section 254(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code, it is clear that in certain cases, the court has the discretion to order an acquittal instead of a DNAA," he said.
The judge added that it would be unfair to the court to reschedule the case again in the event that Ambika is recharged.
However, he said Ambika had only been acquitted of murder, and that the prosecution can still charge her with other offences if it wants.
Following her acquittal, the government filed an appeal in the Court of the Appeal