Indonesian suspect in Bedok double murder will not be sent to Singapore: Indonesian police

 Mr Chia Ngim Fong, 79, and Madam Chin Sek Fah, 78, were allegedly murdered by their Indonesian maid Khasanah, 41, on Wednesday (June 21).
Mr Chia Ngim Fong, 79, and Madam Chin Sek Fah, 78, were allegedly murdered by their Indonesian maid Khasanah, 41, on Wednesday (June 21). PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

JAKARTA - The Singapore Police Force is working with Indonesian authorities for the Bedok double murder case, but the Indonesian maid arrested in Jambi province will not be sent to Singapore.

A spokesman for the Singapore Police Force on Thursday night said the police are aware that "the Indonesian suspect has been detained by the Indonesian authorities".

"We are currently working with the Indonesian authorities to facilitate our investigations into the murder case reported at Bedok Reservoir Road on June 21, 2017," said the police spokesman.

Indonesia's national police (Polri) will work with their Singapore counterparts to solve the crime, a spokesman for the Indonesian police told The Straits Times earlier on Thursday.

 Inspector-Genral Setyo Wasisto said that the case "will be handled by Polri in cooperation with the Singapore Police Force, but the suspect Khasanah will not be sent to Singapore due to the principle of personaliteit".

Personaliteit is a local legal principle which states that any Indonesian arrested in the country for a crime committed overseas must be processed in Indonesia, instead of being sent to the jurisdiction where the offence took place, explained the national police spokesman.

Khasanah, 41, had worked as a domestic helper in Singapore for about a month. She was on the run for almost a week after her elderly employers were found tied up and later pronounced dead in their Bedok Reservoir flat on June 21.

She was arrested for the double murder on Tuesday night when police in Indonesia's Jambi province raided her hotel room following a tip-off from local residents.

Among the items found in her possession during her arrest were several pieces of jewellery, watches, mobile phones, a laptop computer and cash in various currencies.

Khasanah had confessed to her arresting officers that she murdered her employers, said Jambi police spokesman Kuswahyudi Tresnadi.

She was also said to have used a computer at an Internet cafe near the hotel to browse for online news about the double murder.

The hotel manager told Shin Min Daily News on Thursday that Khasanah had paid repeated visits to the Internet cafe during her stay and had plans to travel to Java.

She is being held by local police in Jambi province for the investigation into the murder, Insp-Gen Setyo confirmed.

Khasanah's fate now lies in the hands of Indonesian investigators, who will need to decide whether there is sufficient evidence against her.

Even so, they will still need to get the green-light from state prosecutors before she is charged in an Indonesian court.

Indonesia and Singapore had signed an extradition treaty as part of a package which included a Defence Cooperation Agreement in April 2007. Both agreements are still pending ratification by the Indonesian House of Representatives.

The two countries, however, are party to the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) Treaty Amongst Like-minded Asean Member States.

Under the MLA, one country can gain access to interrogate suspects detained in the partner country, as well as gather evidence and seize criminals' assets.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said previously that Singapore has provided assistance to Indonesia on its MLA requests.