|Lawyer to apply for revision of 20-year sentence imposed on maid|
|Tuesday, 26 February 2013 08:39am|
©The Star (Used by permission)
by SHAILA KOSHY
KUALA LUMPUR: The Bar Council will seek a revision of the 20-year jail sentence imposed on the Indonesian maid convicted of attempted murder and physical abuse of her employer's four-month-old son.
Its chairman Lim Chee Wee said a Legal Aid Centre (LAC) lawyer was getting all the relevant documents to apply for a revision of the sentence in the High Court.
Yuliana, 24, was unrepresented in the trial at the Kuantan Sessions Court on Feb 19.
Lim added that a legal firm had filed a notice of appeal for Yuliana, who is serving her sentence at the Bentong prison.
Asked whether a lawyer would represent a 41-year-old Indonesian maid who was arrested on Saturday for the physical abuse of a 15-month-old girl in Kelantan, he said: “The council is sending a lawyer to Kota Baru to represent her.”
Lim said the council met the Indonesian ambassador recently and “offered to assist, by way of legal representation, Indonesians involved in the criminal justice system”.
“However, this is an ad hoc solution, as ultimately, the NLAF (National Legal Aid Foundation) should be extended to non-Malaysians.”
Asked if the council's dock brief system (where pupils plead mitigation or refer the accused to the LAC if they claim trial) was not meeting the need to provide foreigners with legal counsel, Lim said the Government had agreed to set up NLAF precisely because the Bar's programme had limited funding and capacity.
“Presently, there is no automatic right to legal representation for every non-citizen who is arrested, remanded or tried.”
On judges not ordering psychiatric evaluation in cases like Yuliana, who abused the child on her first day of work, or when young, single mothers are accused of causing the death of their newborn, Lim replied: “This is an issue the Bar will now pursue with the Judiciary and the Attorney-General's Chambers, namely the sensitisation and education of all stakeholders, lawyers, DPPs and judges.”
“I admit this is an issue the Bar could have done more,” he added.
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