Father of maid accused of murder to help with probe

Father of maid accused of murder to help with probe
Indonesian maid Dewi Sukowati, 23, arriving at the State courts in an unmarked police car on March 20 2014.

The father of an Indonesian maid accused of murdering her employer will be coming to Singapore to help with investigations, a district court heard yesterday.

The lawyer for Dewi Sukowati also told The Straits Times after the hearing that she may be younger than her reported age of 23. Dewi is alleged to have murdered 69-year-old socialite and philanthropist Nancy Gan Wan Geok at her Victoria Park Road home on March 19.

Ms Gan, who was also a porcelain artist, was found dead in her bungalow's swimming pool with head injuries.

Yesterday, Mr Mohamed Muzammil Mohamed, who was appointed by the Indonesian Embassy to represent Dewi, told the court that the psychiatrist who evaluated Dewi had asked to interview her parents to complete the psychiatric report.

He said the embassy will provide their accommodation here. He later told The Straits Times that as Dewi's mother is ill and unable to travel, her father will come alone to Singapore.

During the hearing, he also said that he wanted Dewi's age to be verified. A report on Indonesian news portal Aktual.co last month suggested her age might have been falsified. It arose after visits to Dewi's family by Mr

Imam Suroso, an MP who deals with manpower issues, and officials of the Central Java office of the agency for the handling, placement and protection of Indonesian migrant workers.

They found she may have been born on Aug 5, 1995 - making her 18 - instead of Aug 5, 1990 as given in her passport.Her middle-school certificate and birth certificate also suggest she will turn 19 this year, the report added. The minimum age for a foreign domestic worker to work in Singapore is 23.

Indonesian Embassy counsellor Sukmo Yuwono told The Straits Times last month that Dewi, who is from the Pati regency in Central Java, was hired through an agency not accredited by the embassy to recruit maids. She received her work permit on March 12 and worked for Ms Gan for barely a week.

Dewi, who spent the past three weeks undergoing psychiatric evaluation, will be remanded at Central Police Division till next Thursday, when her case will be mentioned again.

Meanwhile, the case against ano-ther Indonesian maid accused of murder also came up for mention in court. Yati, who goes by one name, is charged with murdering Madam Aandi Abdul Rahman Rasheeda Begam, 77, at a Serangoon North flat on Jan 14.

A pre-trial conference has been set for June 3, and she is expected to appear in court again on June 17. The 26-year-old is also represented by Mr Mohamed Muzammil.

This article was published on April 11 in The Straits Times.

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