Accessory in “honor killing” of Sydney man acted on “motherly instinct”

GlobalPost

A woman who allegedly helped her son after he murdered her lover in a so-called honor killing was "acting on motherly instinct," her lawyer has told a Sydney court.

Last November, Nita Iskandar, 48, was found guilty of being an accessory after the fact by helping her son, Andrew Iskandar, flee to Singapore after her lover Mohd Shah Saemin, 43, was bashed to death, the Australian Associated Press reported.

Nita Iskandar and Saemin were coworkers at the Malaysian consulate in Sydney.

Andrew Iskandar was found guilty of the 2010 murder after prosecutors successfully argued that the "honor killing" was planned after their affair became a talking point among Sydney's Indonesian community.

However, he denied planning the killing with his father or knowing beforehand about his mother's affair with Saemin.

Nita Iskandar's barrister David Price implored the judge at a sentencing hearing for Iskandar and her son, now 21, to consider her plight.

"The man she loved, her best friend … someone she wanted to marry was brutally murdered in the street because her husband would not accept the relationship she had with him."

Although Iskander's conviction carries a 25-year penalty, Price said her offense was at at the "absolute lowest" end of seriousness for such crimes.

"Objectively she made a grave error in judgment by assisting her son and causing her son's arrest to be delayed by about 24 to 48 hours," Price reportedly said.

"She maintains her innocence – not that she did not assist her son – but that she did not and will not accept her son is a murderer and was involved in the murder of Shah Saemin."

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