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Bangladeshi domestic helper acquitted of employer’s murder

By Rana Husseini - Apr 01,2018 - Last updated at Apr 01,2018

AMMAN — The Criminal Court has acquitted a Bangladeshi domestic helper of charges of poisoning and killing her 85-year-old employer in Madaba in January 2017 after experts were unable to find traces of poison in the body.

The tribunal declared the 30-year-old defendant not guilty of manslaughter charges for lack of evidence, senior judicial sources and her lawyer Eman Bataineh said on Saturday.

The defendant, who arrived to the country in late December 2016, was standing trial on charges of poisoning her employer on January 15.

But based on a second testimony in court by forensic experts and toxicologists “the court decided to acquit the defendant because the experts were unable to find any poisonous substance in the victim’s body,” a senior judicial source told The Jordan Times.

A second judicial source, who is close to the investigation, said the victim was rushed to hospital after suffering from stomach pain and vomiting.

The victim wrote a paper while at hospital claiming that the “domestic helper poisoned him when she gave him his medicine”, the second judicial source said.

“The victim was treated at hospital based on the claims that he was poisoned and samples were taken from him five days later when he died so it was hard to find traces of poison, and therefore the woman was acquitted,” the judicial source explained.

Government physicians also testified in court that the symptoms the victim suffered from when he was rushed to hospital “could also be the result of his medical illness condition and not only from poison”, the second judicial source added.

Bataineh, who is the Bangladeshi embassy in Amman’s representative for the domestic helper, said she “always believed that her client was innocent”.

“She never confessed to the murder and really had no motive to kill anyone. The toxicology reports also indicated that there was no poisonous substance in the victim’s body,” Bataineh told The Jordan Times.

The defendant is expected to be released from detention on Sunday or Monday, according to Bataineh.

The of tribunal comprised judges Majid Rafayah, Anwar Abu Eid and Nawaf Samarat. The Criminal Court prosecutor who was present in court was Ahmad Kinani.

Thursday’s verdict is subject to appeal by the Criminal Court general attorney at the Court of Cassation within the next 30 days.

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