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Pinay files instant appeal against RMB theft conviction

17 May 2019

Berbana is accused of stealing 17 pcs of RMB100 bills

By Vir B. Lumicao

A Filipina who was found guilty at Eastern Court of stealing 1,700 renminbi from her employer has immediately gone to the High Court to appeal her conviction.

Ana Liezel Berbana, 33, was sentenced to six weeks in jail on May 16 by Magistrate Lam Tsz-kan after finding her guilty of theft.
The magistrate said Berbana’s frame-up claim was unreasonable, as her employer had already given her a one-month termination notice.

Defense lawyer Philip Ross immediately applied for bail for her client so she could file an appeal.
Lam granted the application but raised the bail money to $10,000 from the previous $6,000, and ordered the helper to file an appeal within 14 days.

But Ross said his client would go to the High Court right after the sentencing to file the appeal, and she did.
In his verdict, Lam rejected Berbana’s claim that her employer Wong Man-nga had made up the theft charge.

Berbana had told the court that she knew nothing about the money that police found in her jacket’s pocket. She also said her employer had always told her not to enter her bedroom, but broke this rule on the day in question when she asked the helper to go inside the room and clean her toilet.
The Filipina claimed that the accusation and her eventual arrest on Dec 21 came a day after she complained to Wong about having to use her own money to buy extra food for the employer’s household.
But the magistrate said Wong was a credible and reliable witness. He said he believed the employer’s claim that she had left her bag containing 40 bills denominated at 100 renminbi each, in her bedroom on the afternoon of Dec 21.

Wong had said that after ordering her helper to clean the bathroom in her bedroom, she discovered 1,700 renminbi was missing from her bag and called the police.

An officer said in his testimony that he found the missing notes stuffed in a sanitary napkin placed in a plastic bag, and hidden in the pocket of Berbana’s jacket.

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