Singapore

Alleged killer of maid claims victim provoked him

Bangladeshi worker on trial for 2018 murder of Indonesian maid

A 31-year-old Bangladeshi painter, who allegedly strangled his Indonesian girlfriend of six years after she refused to break up with another man she was seeing, is now facing the mandatory death penalty for murder.

Yesterday, Ahmed Salim went on trial in the High Court for murdering domestic worker Nurhidayati Wartono Surata, 34, in a room at the Golden Dragon Hotel in Geylang on the evening of Dec 30, 2018.

Prosecutors accuse him of intending to kill the woman, as he had brought along a drawstring when they met that day.

However, the defence contends that Ahmed had been provoked by the woman, who allegedly told him: "The other man is better than you in bed and better financially. If you don't believe (me), I will take a video next week to show you."

Deputy Public Prosecutor Hay Hung Chun countered that Ahmed's claim that the woman had uttered those words was "fabricated".

The court heard that Ahmed and Ms Nurhidayati started a relationship in May 2012. They went out on alternate Sundays and had sex once a month.

But in mid-2018, she started seeing Bangladeshi plumber Shamin Shamizur Rahman, whom she met once a month on Sundays.

Ahmed suspected that she was cheating on him and after she admitted that she was dating another man, Ahmed told his mother in Bangladesh to help him find a wife.

Soon after, the pair reconciled but quarrelled over her infidelity.

Once, in a hotel room, Ahmed pressed a towel over Ms Nurhidayati's mouth but let go after she started struggling.

Some time in late October or early November 2018, she befriended another man on Facebook, Bangladeshi general fitter Hanifa Mohammad Abu.

After she had sex with Mr Hanifa at a hotel in Aljunied, she promised him she would make a clean break with Ahmed.

On Dec 9, she told Ahmed that she had a new boyfriend and that he should return to Bangladesh for his arranged marriage.

On Dec 23, Ahmed and Ms Nurhidayati met at a hotel room, where she told him she would continue seeing him, but after parting ways, she called him to break up with him.

Ahmed convinced her to meet him again on Dec 30.

"After they had sex at the hotel, the accused repeatedly threatened to kill the deceased if she did not end her relationship with her new boyfriend. When the deceased refused, the accused brutally strangled her with a towel around her neck," said DPP Hay.

Ms Nurhidayati's body was found at about 10.15pm by a hotel receptionist. An autopsy found the cause of death to be strangulation and cervical spine injury. Ahmed was arrested around 10.45am the next day.

COURT & CRIME