16 October 2011

Verdict is in

Friday I went to the Tsuen Wan Magistrate Court to hear the verdict on the client who had been accused of poisoning. (you can read about the trial here and here)

I went to visit her in the Tai Lam prison a few times. The last time I saw her (last Wednesday) she was so distraught. Her eyes were bloodshot and baggy, and she told me she couldn't sleep because she was so worried. I tried to bring her a few items (there is a very restrictive list of items you are allowed to bring people who are in prison on remand) but a few of them were not EXACT (or, in the case of the toothpaste, "too fancy") so were not allowed. We were only allowed to talk for 15 minutes.

The Magister spent a considerable amount of time explaining the reasons for her verdict before she actually gave it. I brought a friend of mine and another Filipina with me to the court to support the client and we waved to her when she was brought into the dock. She was already crying.

Throughout the "reasons for verdict" speech she cried. When the Magister finally got around to announcing the verdict, she sobbed.

She was acquitted on four of the charges but convicted on one and sentenced to four and a half months in prison. However, since she has already been in prison for five months she will be released on 'time served.' I have not been able to find out when and where she will be released. I am sure Immigration and the Philippine Consulate are involved though.

A conviction means she will be repatriated back to the Philippines and not allowed back into Hong Kong. It means she will have to find another way to provide for her family. I'm just glad she is getting out of prison and will be going home to see her kids now.

I just received a letter from her, dated October 13 (the day before her trial). She thanks me for coming to visit her and trying to help her and ends with a verse from Revelation: "Do not be afraid of what will happen to you. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you and there will be ten days of trials. Remain faithful even to death and I will give you the crown of life." (Rev 2:10) And she drew a beautiful picture of a rose.

I am still working on trying to help her with her claims but time is short. Please keep her in your prayers, and the ministry of the Mission. I am so grateful to be a part of this.

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