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Judge calls out unequal treatment in illegal jobs case

10 September 2016

A High Court judge has taken a jab at the prosecution in a case of illegal work against a Filipina domestic worker, when he asked why her employer was out on bail while she remained in detention.
At a hearing at the Court of First Instance on Aug. 25, Justice Michael Stuart-Moore asked why in Hong Kong law “you’ve got the employer on bail and the employee in custody.”
He then allowed Adora Regodon to post bail after accepting an offer by a merchant-friend of the employer to put up surety of $10,000 for the helper.
“Today I will decide. I’m going to give you bail today when the $10,000 surety is paid in court. He’s very kind to put up surety for you,” Stuart-Moore told the Filipina.
The court heard that Regodon arrived in Hong Kong on Aug 8 to take up employment as domestic helper of a certain Rani Ramchandran, who operates a hotel on Nathan Road.
Regodon was caught several days later by immigration officers while allegedly working in the hotel. She and her employer were arrested.
The prosecutor said she feared Regodon would go back to work for the employer if she was given bail. A friend of the maid had previously offered to take her in but the friend’s husband reportedly objected.
The judge told Regodon to reside in the address given by the merchant who posted bail for her and attend the hearing set for Sept. 6. – Vir B. Lumicao

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