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xx - Filipina Cleared of multi-million Jewelry Theft Suit - Philippine Daily News
Filipina Cleared of multi-million Jewelry Theft Suit
« on: July 07, 2007, 05:43:12 AM »
By John Leonidou
CYPRUS MAIL

A Filipina housemaid has been cleared by a Nicosia Court of stealing over £50,000 worth of jewellery and cutlery from the vault of her former employer.

Jinky Tulin Bacunu was accused by police of stealing £51,400 worth of jewellery and cutlery from Lenia Paraika – the elderly woman she was looking after in April last year.

Bacunu has since moved out of the pensioner’s house and is working elsewhere.

According to police officials, the maid had managed to unlock her former employer’s vault and steal the items inside.

Investigators then suspect that she may have sent them back to the Philippines.

But her defence lawyer Pavlos Erotokritou had countered the prosecution’s claim, saying that nothing had been proved in the prima facie phase of the proceedings especially with Paraika not deemed well enough to testify.

A doctor’s testimony had informed the court that the elderly woman was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

In most Cypriot legal proceedings, the prosecution has the burden of proof, which requires them to present prima facie evidence of all facts to see if there is a case against a defendant or defendants.

In his decision, the judge had stated that the only testimony against Bacunu was the testimony of the elderly woman’s daughter who had previously told the court that her mother had told her that she had seen some of her jewellery inside her maid’s handbag.

The judge had added that the only witness account from the prosecution was hearsay and that no witness account or evidence pointed towards the maid having stolen anything from her former employer.

In a court decision it was noted that “with all of the above mentioned testimonies, it is abundantly clear that the testimonies lack convincing and no court could possibly stem its conviction on such a testimony.

“The court rules that a prima facie case has not been proved against the defendant. She is therefore cleared of the charges.”

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10 Million Worth of Jewelry and Cash Lost

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