Couple accused of keeping woman as slave in home
A Melbourne couple have faced court, accused of keeping a woman as a slave in their home in Melbourne's west for 10 months in 2022.
Chee Kit "Max" Chong was charged in November last year with possessing a slave, and using coercion and threats to cause another person to enter into and remain in servitude.
Last month federal police laid a further charge of exercising control over a slave.
The same three charges were filed against his wife, Angie Liaw, on April 6.
It's alleged Chong, 44, and Liaw, 29, kept a woman in domestic servitude at their Point Cook home between January and October last year.
The couple faced Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday where Liaw's lawyer, Payne Wu, said he had not yet determined if he was also acting for Chong.
Federal police said they received a report from a healthcare provider, concerned that a woman was exhibiting indicators of human trafficking.
The couple's home was searched in late October.
Mr Wu said he hoped to reach a decision on representing Chong in the next week or so.
Chong told the court he believed he and his wife already shared the same lawyer, but would find another if needed.
He appeared by video-link wearing a blue jumper in a white-walled room, while Liaw appeared from inside a car.
Commonwealth prosecutor Zoe Hough said their alleged victim was a vulnerable adult, who would not be required to give evidence at a committal hearing against them.
But the court heard other witnesses may include people who interacted with the alleged victim at a hospital or medical centre she attended.
Their case was adjourned for a further committal mention on June 19.
Chong and Liaw are both on bail.