A Bangladeshi cleaner was granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal yesterday over the death of an Indonesian maid, whose body was found in a water tank. But the cleaner faces new charges not related to the murder.
Repon Mostafa, 29, had been charged with the murder of Ms Ruliyawati, 30, on the rooftop of Block 686B Woodlands Drive 73 in May last year. He now faces five new charges not related to the murder, including three for trespassing on the rooftop of Block 686B last year. The other two charges relate to possessing an obscene film and eight uncertified video files containing films in his mobile phone.
District Judge Lim Tse Haw ordered Mostafa to be remanded after he failed to raise $5,000 bail. His case was adjourned to July 24 for his lawyer Ram Goswami to take instructions from his client. Yesterday’s decision to grant the discharge to Mostafa, who has been in remand for a year, left lawyers mystified as to what had led to the turn of events.
His lawyer told The Straits Times that Mostafa had denied the murder and informed the police that the maid had told him many times that she wanted to die because of personal problems. It emerged in his claims to his lawyer that the maid had used a five-inch folding knife, which she had brought, to slash herself on the stomach at the rooftop. She did this, he said, to scare him into giving her the keys to the water tank. He pulled away the knife and was cut in his hand. He gave her the keys, saying he was afraid.
He also claimed she wanted to have sex. When he refused, she cut herself on her right thigh, so he yielded out of fear. After they had sex, she used his T-shirt to wipe the blood from her wounds. She then climbed up the water tank, and when he tried to stop her, she used the knife to take a swipe at his arms.
She unlocked and lifted the cover and asked him to follow, threatening to kill herself if he did not. He followed her down the ladder into the tank where the water level was up to her neck and up to his chest. She asked him to die with her but he refused. He tried to climb out and call the police but she held him back. She kept her head under the water several times. He pulled her up several times but got tired and let go. He later found her motionless body.
Subsequently, his foreman arrived at the scene and the police were called.
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