Only employers could have injured maid, judge told

Prosecutor says all evidence points to couple being guilty of horrendous abuse against helper, before trial is adjourned for verdict

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 31 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 31 August, 2013, 3:46am

The trial of a couple accused of systematically abusing their Indonesian maid heard yesterday that the maid's injuries could only have been caused by her employers.

Prosecutor Fu Chong-sang said in his final submission that according to medical opinion, it was "quite impossible" that the injuries and scars found on the back of Kartika Puspitasari, 30, had been self-inflicted.

Fu then read out part of a police interview with her employer, Catherine Au Yuk-shan, 41, in which she said Kartika had never asked to go out during the two years she worked for Au and her husband, Tai Chi-wai, 42. Au said the maid stayed in the flat even on her holidays.

Au admitted she had never given Kartika keys to the flat, even when the family went on holiday to Thailand for five days last year.

Fu also quoted parts of a statement made by a caretaker at the Serenity Park residential development in Tai Po.

The caretaker said he saw Au and Tai move into the building with their children and Kartika in October 2010. He said he had seldom seen Kartika leave the building and that when she did, she had always been with Au or Tai.

The caretaker also said it seemed Kartika was always wearing ill-fitting clothes and looked very dirty.

He said Kartika seemed to have disappeared about eight months after the family moved into the estate and he thought she must have left.

But he saw her again when she helped the couple move out last September.

The prosecutor said Kartika had given a very detailed description of how the couple had allegedly assaulted and tortured her while she worked for them between October 2010 and October last year.

He said the doctor's testimony supported her allegations, ruled out the possibility of self-inflicted injury and said a person could survive even if they were denied food and water for five days.

Fu said the caretaker's evidence also proved that the maid seldom left the flat.

"All the evidence has proved all the elements of the charges," he said.

Defence lawyer Alan So wondered why Kartika had not escaped if she really lived in such hellish conditions.

So said her allegations - including that she was forced to wear a diaper and was tied to a chair for five days without food or water, that she had had to wear a see-through plastic bag and work in front of three young children, and that she was fed just once in three days - were ridiculous and impossible to sustain.

He urged the judge to find the couple not guilty of all charges.

Tai and Au has denied one count of false imprisonment and eight counts of assault.

Deputy Judge So Wai-tak adjourned the case until September 18 for the verdict.