Date
24 September 2017
Domestic helpers stage a protest in support of Kartika Puspitasari outside a Hong Kong courthouse. Photo: Reuters.
Domestic helpers stage a protest in support of Kartika Puspitasari outside a Hong Kong courthouse. Photo: Reuters.

Jailed maid torturer cleared of failing to pay wages

A Hong Kong woman jailed for abusing her Indonesian helper has been found not guilty of withholding her wages.

Deputy Magistrate Ho Chun-yiu cleared Catherine Au on 24 counts of failing to pay Kartika Puspitasari two years’ wages worth nearly HK$86,000 (US$11,100), Apple Daily reported Thursday.

Au, 42, testified that she had paid Kartika’s salary in cash each month. However, the magistrate dismissed her claim that her record of Kartika’s salary went missing the day the helper fled her flat in October 2012.

Au had been served 24 summonses by the Labor Department accusing her of not paying Kartika’s HK$3,580 monthly salary.

Ho doubted Kartika’s version of events, saying she could not have worked for two years for her employer without being paid.

Also, Ho could not accept that Kartika, 31, had not mentioned the alleged non-payment of her salary to her friends.  

Au is serving a 5-1/2 year jail sentence after being convicted last year for attacking Kartika with hot irons and bicycle chains.

Her husband, Tai Chi-wai, who was convicted on two wounding charges, was jailed three years and three months.

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