Woman convicted of abusing maid allowed to perform umrah

Rozita Mohd Ali speaks to her lawyer, Luqman Mazlan, after court proceedings today.

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal today allowed a woman convicted of abusing her maid to make an overseas visit to Mecca to perform the umrah next month.

A three-member bench chaired by Umi Kalthum Abdul, however, ordered the bail amount for Rozita Mohd Ali to be raised from RM25,000 to RM30,000.

Rozita was sentenced to eight years in jail, but the punishment was suspended pending her appeal last June.

Umi, who sat with Harminder Singh Dhaliwal and Stephen Chung, also ordered that Rozita hand over her passport to the court on April 17, two days after she returns home.

Deputy public prosecutor Ku Hayati Ku Haron earlier said she had no objection to the court releasing Rozita’s passport provided that she posts additional bail of RM10,000.

She said the prosecution wanted the bail amount raised as Rozita had been convicted of a crime.

She also sought for Rozita to return her passport on April 16 instead of April 17.

However, Rozita’s lawyer Luqman Mazlan asked for leeway to be given to his client in case of a delay in her flight home.

He also said RM10,000 in additional bail was excessive.

In her application, Rozita said she needed her passport to perform the umrah between April 4 and 14.

The 44-year-old pleaded guilty on March 15 to voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons to her Indonesian maid, Suyanti Sutrinso.

Sessions Court judge Mohammed Mokhzani Mokhtar initially released her on a five-year good behaviour bond with a surety of RM20,000.

However, this sparked outrage among the public, with an online petition against the sentence attracting over 70,000 signatures.

On revision, judicial commissioner Tun Majid Tun Hamzah ruled that the good behaviour bond imposed by the Sessions Court was incorrect and substituted it with an eight-year jail term.

On May 30 last year, the Court of Appeal suspended the jail term pending Rozita’s appeal due to exceptional circumstances.

However, she was ordered to post bail of RM25,000 while her passport was impounded.

The court also ordered her to report to the Damansara Utama police station every two weeks.