Singapore — The Indonesian domestic helper whose conviction for theft was overturned on appeal last month in a high-profile case is now considering dropping the case she has filed seeking disciplinary proceedings against the prosecutors.
Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon has been told by Ms Parti Liyani’s lawyer, Mr Anil Balchandani, that she would like to return to Indonesia as soon as possible as she has been pursuing her case for the past four years and has not been able to go home during this entire time.
Ms Parti, 46, had been found guilty of four counts of theft last year and sentenced to 26 months in jail by District Judge Olivia Low for allegedly stealing more than S$34,000 worth of goods from the family of Mr Liew Mun Leong, for whom she worked from 2007 to 2016. Mr Liew retired last month as Chairman of the Changi Airport Group.
The helper appealed against conviction. Mr Balchandani submitted that she had been framed by her employers in order to prevent her from filing a complaint of illegal deployment, as she had also been asked to work at the house and office of Mr Liew’s son.
On Sept 4, High Court Judge Chan Seng Onn released a ruling that acquitted Ms Parti. The judge noted that Mr Liew and his son, 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.
On Thursday (Oct 1), a hearing was held in chambers before the Chief Justice with representatives from the Attorney-General’s Chambers and Mr Balchandani concerning Ms Parti’s complaint as well as an application from the AGC seeking leave to be heard at the disciplinary proceedings against the prosecutors, Mr Tan Wee Hao and Ms Tan Yanying.
At the hearing, Mr Balchandani told the CJ about the possible withdrawal of Ms Parti’s suit.
Yahoo News Singapore quotes the Chief Justice as saying: “However, his client evidently also believes that the DPPs should answer the allegations she has raised in her affidavit and is altogether somewhat torn between the various competing considerations.”
Ms Parti’s lawyer has asked for an adjournment of the matter for two weeks as his client reaches a final decision and the CJ has agreed to this.
He said: “This seems especially sensible because under the Legal Profession (Disciplinary Tribunal) Rules, the applicant would likely have to appoint counsel to prosecute the matter; and as I explained to Mr Balchandani, that might necessitate some steps being taken if Mr Balchandani himself were likely to be a witness in the proceedings.” /TISG