The verdicts have at last been handed down to the two people on trial for their roles in the murder of eight-year-old Engeline.
Engeline’s adoptive mother, Margriet Megawe has been handed a life sentence, while the family’s former gardener, Agustay Hamda May got off with a 10-year sentence.
The murder story has captivated Bali’s attention since the little girl was found buried in her Sanur backyard on June 10, 2015, just several weeks after her adoptive family had reported her missing.
Both Margriet and Agus were identified as suspects as police investigations revealed allegations of Engeline’s abuse and put together a narrative that Margriet was going to pay off Agus to murder the little girl.
Prosecutors had demanded 12 years for Agus, but Denpasar District Court read its decision on Monday to give him 10 years prison for planning Engeline’s murder and helping conceal her death. Agus’ attorney, Hotman Paris, says they will appeal the verdict, insisting that it’s not right because he said Agus was not involved in Engeline’s murder.
Even if Agus helped bury the body, he did not plan or carry out the murder—that was all Margriet, Hotman told local media. (Throughout the trial, Agus maintained his innocence in Engeline’s death, saying he did not kill or help kill her, just that he helped bury her.)
Lawyers for Margriet have also expressed a desire to appeal her life sentence. (Margriet also maintained her innocence throughout the trial, putting all the blame on Agus.)
“Certainly we will appeal, because according to our sense of justice, as well as the facts revealed in the trail, the verdict is not right,” attorney Hotma Sitompoel said on Monday, as quoted by Tribun Bali.