Top judge’s niece Bokhary cleared of two criminal damage charges but trial continues
Amina Bokhary, the niece of Court of Final Appeal’s non-permanent judge Kemal Bokhary, was on Wednesday cleared of two counts of criminal damage. Yet, she still faces two other counts of criminal damage and theft as the trial began in the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts.
Amina, 46, pleaded not guilty to the remaining three charges, which alleged her of stealing personal items of foreign domestic helper Castillon Bandiala and throwing them off her home in Happy Valley on December 13 and 14 last year, causing damages to three cars.
During the trial, the prosecution told the court that one of the car owners is now undergoing a surgery in the U.S. and wishes not to further pursue this matter. Therefore, two counts of criminal damage against Amina were dropped.
Bandiola, who speaks Tagalog, first testified and said she was hired by Amina’s mother last December and she had not been getting along with Amina.
On December 9, Amina woke her up at around 5 am and ordered her to clean the cockroaches in the kitchen, Bandiola said, adding that Amina later banished her and locked her out of the apartment. She could only get into the apartment again until 8 pm that night.
Bandiola continued that around 2 am on December 13, she took out the garbage as instructed by Amina and was locked out of the Happy Valley home the moment she walked out of the door.
The helper added she then stayed at the corridor outside the home and was approached by a security guard around 4 am, who showed her some underwear and pajamas that she recognized. The guard told Bandiola he found those clothing in the car park and asked her to take a look on her own.
As Bandiola reached the scene, she saw many of her personal items scattered in the car park, including her keys, phone, receipts of money wired to the Philippines, and a plastic box. Police officers were called to the scene about an hour later.
When Magistrate Edward Wong Ching-yu asked the defense to clarify the controversies in this case, the defense said there was no direct evidence that can prove how those items landed on the cars in the car park.
The layers also questioned the charge against Amina was not the lesser count of objects dropped from buildings.
The trial continues tomorrow (Thu).