ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - Kuwait's court of appeals upheld the death sentence of a Filipino housemaid convicted of murdering her employer's daughter, reports said on Tuesday.
The Kuwaiti newspaper Arab Times said Jakatia Mandon Pawa was found guilty of killing the 20-year old woman at a suburb in Mubarak Al-Kabeer, one of the governorates of Kuwait.
It said the Kuwaiti Court of Appeals Judge Mohammed Bu Slaib upheld the verdict of a lower court.
Death sentences in Kuwait are carried out by hanging. The 31-year old Filipino maid is a native of Zamboanga del Norte province in Mindanao Island.
"In a previous session, Jakatia's lawyer argued his client had no criminal intent as there is no evidence proving that she intentionally killed the victim. He then requested the court to acquit his client, refer to a committee from the Psychiatric Hospital to check on her mental status or, at least, show maximum leniency towards Jakatia," the Arab Times reported.
It said Jakatia stabbed and killed her employer on May 14 in Qurain district, south of Kuwait City. The woman was sleeping in her room when Jakatia attacked her. After the killing, Jakatia jumped from the second floor of the house and injured herself. She was rushed to hospital and stayed there for several days.
The verdict was the newspaper's front page story, but the motive of the killing was unclear. The report did not say why Jakatia attacked the woman.
It was the third time that a death sentence has been handed down against a Filipino worker in recent years.
In December 2007, Filipino maid Marilou Ranario was also sentenced to death for killing her employer, but the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah commuted the sentence to life after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo visited the country where more than 73,000 Filipinos work, mostly as housemaids.
In April this year, the Kuwaiti Supreme Court upheld the death sentence against May Vecina for killing the seven-year old son of her Kuwaiti employer and attempting to kill the victim's elder sister and brother. But the emir also commuted Vecina's death conviction to life after the Philippine government appealed to spare her life.
Kuwaiti courts found Vecina guilty of killing her Salem Sulaiman Al-Otaib on January 6, 2007. She also attempted to kill the victim's 13-year old brother Abdulla by slitting the boy's throat and his 17-year old sister Hajer by stabbing her. At her trial, the Filipino maid claimed that she suffered physical and mental abuse from her employer, which led her to lose her mind. - (Al Jacinto, GMANews.TV)