COURTS

My abuse claims are true, Indonesian maid tells court

Indonesian denies making up lies about abuse to win tribunal case against her employers

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 8:19am

An Indonesian maid was accused of lying about being subjected to beatings, threats and humiliation by her employers over two years in a bid to help her win a civil suit against the couple, but she rejected the defence claim that she made it all up.

"They're all true," Kartika Puspitasari told lawyer Alan So in the District Court after he suggested her allegations were lies.

So is representing Tai Chi-wai, 42, and his wife, Catherine Au Yuk-shan, 41, who have denied seven counts of assault and one of false imprisonment. He put it to 30-year-old Kartika she had made up the claims because she wanted to win a suit for HK$117,272 filed in the Labour Tribunal in March for unpaid salary and allowances from July 2010 to October 2012.

The court heard Au was willing to pay just HK$4,449 of the claim, the hearing for which has been adjourned to an unspecified date.

So said that while Kartika had given evidence that the couple had prohibited her from talking to other people, she had not told the police this.

So also said that although her employment contract had expired in July last year she had remained at the couple's home in Tai Po while she sought a new employer, even though she knew she had broken the law by overstaying.

He said the maid had fled the couple's flat on October 9 last year because Tai had told her he was about to report her to the Immigration Department.

So also played a video in court showing Kartika leaving the Tai Po building carrying a blue backpack that he said belonged to Au and contained cosmetics.

The maid denied taking Au's belongings, saying she had just taken away some cake.

She said Tai had scolded her for eating a piece of cake from the refrigerator that morning then punched her and threatened to break all her teeth.

She later found Tai had thrown away the cake because he regarded it as dirty after she had touched it. She took the cake from the rubbish bin to eat as she was starving.

The maid also said she wrote a letter in Indonesian to her family in August last year saying she could not put up with staying in the couple's home and wanted to return to Indonesia.

But Au refused to send the letter for her and it was later thrown away.

She also learned that her mother had made a report to the police in their home town as she had lost contact with the family and had not sent them any money since she started working for Tai and Au.

The trial continues before Deputy Judge So Wai-tak today.