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    Apr 11, 2014

    Maid in socialite's murder case may be 18, not 23

    THE Indonesian maid accused of murdering her employer may be younger than her reported age of 23 - she is thought to be 18 years old instead.

    Dewi Sukowati's lawyer told The Straits Times after a district court hearing yesterday that she may be younger than her reported age of 23.

    Indonesian news portal suggested in a report last month that her age might have been falsified.

    Indonesian MP Imam Suroso, who deals with manpower issues, and other officials visited Dewi's family and found that she may have been born on Aug 5, 1995 - making her 18 - instead of Aug 5, 1990 as stated on her passport.

    Her middle-school and birth certificates also suggest she will turn 19 this year, according to the report.

    Foreign domestic workers must be at least 23 years old to work in Singapore.

    Dewi is alleged to have murdered her 69-year-old employer, socialite and philanthropist Nancy Gan Wan Geok, at her Victoria Park Road bungalow off Coronation Road on March 19.

    Indonesian Embassy counsellor Sukmo Yuwono said last month that Dewi was hired through an agency not accredited by the embassy to recruit maids.

    She received her Work Permit on March 12 and had been working for Madam Gan for barely a week.

    The court also heard that Dewi's father will be coming to Singapore to help in investigations. The psychiatrist who evaluated her had asked to interview her parents, the court heard.

    But as Dewi's mother is ill and unable to travel, her father will come to Singapore alone, and his accommodation will be provided for by the Indonesian Embassy, said Mr Mohamed Muzammil, Dewi's lawyer.

    Dewi, who spent the past three weeks undergoing psychiatric evaluation, will be remanded at Central Police Division till Thursday, when her case will be mentioned again.