Monday, July 9, 2012

Body in water tank case: Alleged killer may go free

The man suspected of killing a maid and dumping her body in an HDB rooftop water tank may go free.

The Straits Times reported today that at a pre-trial hearing last week, the prosecution gave notice that it would apply for a discharge not amounting to an acquittal for Md Repon Mostafa, a 29-year-old Bangladeshi.

The cleaner was arrested at the scene of the crime and has been held in remand since his arrest in May last year.

His uncle, Mr Mazibar Md Sadhumiah, told the paper that Mostafa was 'overjoyed' upon hearing the news.

Mostafa's lawyer, Ram Goswami, told The Straits Times that the case had been taken off the High Court list where capital cases are heard.

Eight court pre-trial conferences had been held since the suspect was charged earlier.

Lawyers told the paper that the prosecution's move is usually caused by lack of sufficient evidence, or the absence of a key witness.

The story made headlines last year after the dead body of an Indonesian maid was discovered on May 16 inside the rooftop water tank of Block 686B, Woodlands Street 73.

It was reported that blood stains were found in the 2m-deep water tank.

Mostafa was subsequently charged with the murder of Madam Ruliyawati, 30, who was found wearing wearing a t-shirt and bermudas with several wounds. It was believed he had access to the rooftop as it is his job to clean the roof and check the water tank. The rooftop is normally locked.

Mostafa was reportedly seen limping and had cuts on his legs when he was led away by the police.
An autopsy revealed that the maid, who had been working for a family living in that block for only six weeks, drowned.

It was reported then that the corpse in the water tank may have tainted the drinking water of 700 residents.

This led to new measures by the PUB to secure water tanks in all HDB buildings.

The water tank in the affected block was replaced by a $40,000 tank about a month later by the Sembawang Town Council.

The case will be brought up for mention in the Subordinate Courts tomorrow.

If successful, this will be the second such case in Singapore where a murder suspect is involved. The first is Larry Lim, who was granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal for a murder in 2003.

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