SINGAPORE - An Indonesian maid who killed and stole from an elderly couple in Bedok in 2017 will spend 20 years in jail in her home country after a trial there for the double murder.
The Indonesian court ruling was revealed on Tuesday (Sept 1) in a coroner's inquiry into the deaths of Mr Chia Ngim Fong, 79, and his wife Madam Chin Sek Fah, 78.
The coroner's court in Singapore heard that the maid Khasanah, who goes by only one name, was originally sentenced to life imprisonment in Indonesia but had the sentence reduced on appeal.
Khasanah, who escaped to Indonesia after the crime, was not handed over to the authorities in Singapore even though her offences were committed here.
Instead, the Indonesian national police (Polri) worked with the Singapore Police Force (SPF) to solve the crime, The Straits Times previously reported.
Khasanah, then 41, was not sent to Singapore due to the principle of personaliteit, which requires any Indonesian arrested in the country for a crime committed overseas to be processed in Indonesia instead of being sent to the jurisdiction where the offence took place.
Khasanah, who came from Java, had worked for the couple for about a month before the murders.
They were found tied up and unconscious in their five-room executive flat in Block 717 Bedok Reservoir Road on June 21, 2017.
In the coroner's inquiry on Tuesday, investigation officer Assistant Superintendent Mahathir Mohamad from SPF told State Coroner Kamala Ponnampalam that Mr Chia had suffered blunt force trauma to his head, while Madam Chin suffered blunt force trauma to her head and chest.
The court heard that Khasanah left for Indonesia via ferry from HarbourFront Centre at 1.20pm on June 21, 2017 after killing the pair and stealing from them.
ASP Mahathir said that after fleeing, Khasanah was in an Internet cafe in Indonesia when she was overheard talking to somebody over the phone about her offences.
Indonesian police were alerted and on June 28, 2017, they arrested her in Tungkal Ilir, in Jambi province in Sumatra after raiding her room at Hotel Nanber.
Tungkal Ilir is a town in West Tanjung Jabung, about a three-hour drive from provincial capital Jambi and more than 300km from Singapore.
Among the items found in her possession were several pieces of jewellery, watches, mobile phones, a laptop computer and cash amounting to no more than $300 in various currencies.
The hotel owner had earlier said that Khasanah was then in the midst of planning to leave for Java.
ASP Mahathir told the court on Tuesday that Khasanah's murder trial took place in an Indonesian court between Feb 27 and May 2, 2018. She was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.
This sentence was reduced to 20 years' jail following an appeal on Aug 15 that year. Reasons for this reduction were not revealed in court on Tuesday.
State Coroner Kamala will be giving her findings on Wednesday.