Singapore — In the case of a successful appeal against conviction on theft charges by Indonesian domestic helper Parti Liyani, the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) has said it will study the judgment released on Friday (Sept 4) to assess if further action needs to be taken. Similarly, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has said it is in consultation with the AGC concerning possible further action.
The helper worked for Mr Liew Mun Leong and his family from 2007 until 2016. Mr Liew is the Chairman of the Changi Airport Group (CAG).
On March 20, 2019, District Judge Olivia Low found Ms Parti guilty of four counts of theft. She was sentenced to 26 months in jail for allegedly stealing more than $34,000 worth of goods from the Liew family.
Ms Parti, 46, appealed against conviction and was successfully represented by Mr Anil Balchandani of Red Lion Circle Advocates and Solicitors. He had submitted that she had been framed by her employers in order to prevent her from filing a complaint of illegal deployment.
In a statement released on Sunday (Sept 6), the AGC said that it “will study the judgment to assess what further action, if any, ought to be taken in this case, in the light of Chan J’s (Justice Chan Seng Onn) comments. His findings do raise questions which warrant further investigations.”
An MOM statement issued the same day said: “In light of the comments by Justice Chan in the case of Parti Liyani v PP, the ministry is in consultation with the Attorney-General’s Chambers as to whether further action, if any, ought to be taken in this case.”
The ministry said that, nearly two years ago in October 2018, it had issued a caution to Mr Liew Mun Leong’s wife and an advisory to their son, Mr Karl Liew, upon the conclusion of an investigation of a report of illegal deployment filed by Ms Parti n October 2017.
The caution and advisory were issued as MOM found that Mrs Liew had deployed Ms Parti to the house and office of Mr Karl Liew “on different occasions”, which means that the helper worked at these locations illegally several times.
The police have also said that they are looking into a number of issues stemming from Justice Chan’s judgment.
The judge noted that Mr Liew Mun Leong and Mr Karl Liew had an “improper motive” in their accusations that Ms Parti had stolen from them since she had told them she would file a complaint about having to work in Mr Karl Liew’s house and office.
Justice Chan said: “There is reason to believe that the Liew family, upon realising her unhappiness, took the pre-emptive first step to terminate without giving her sufficient time to pack and complain to MOM.”
There is a fifth charge that Ms Parti still faces, one of fraudulently possessing other alleged stolen items owned by unidentified individuals. According to her lawyer, Mr Balchandani, she is ready to face this charge. /TISG