Parti Liyani given two weeks to decide whether to proceed with case
Published on 2nd October, 2020
Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon has given former domestic worker Parti Liyani two weeks to decide whether she wants to proceed with her application to start disciplinary proceedings against two state prosecutors who conducted her trial for theft.
The Indonesian had filed the application in June this year, before she was acquitted last month by the High Court, on appeal, for stealing from the family of prominent businessman Liew Mun Leong.
The Straits Times understands that Ms Parti, 46, filed a notice to discontinue the case against the deputy public prosecutors (DPPs) on Tuesday.
In a chambers hearing yesterday, her lawyer, Mr Anil Balchandani, told the Chief Justice that she has been "overwhelmed by the events of the past month".
In oral grounds released by the court, the Chief Justice said the lawyer drew his attention to the fact that Ms Parti, who has not been home for the last four years, wishes to be able to return to Indonesia "as soon as conveniently possible".
"This, Mr Balchandani explained, is one of the reasons she had initially considered withdrawing the originating summons seeking an order from me directing that the matters alleged against the DPPs in question be referred to a disciplinary tribunal for investigation," said the Chief Justice.
However, Ms Parti is "somewhat torn" as she believes that the DPPs should answer the allegations she has raised in her affidavit.
At the hearing, State Counsel Kristy Tan, for the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC), said that the DPPs in question will not object if the Chief Justice refers the matter for investigation.
In a statement, the AGC said the two legal service officers "welcome the chance to present a full and transparent account of what transpired during the trial" and "will cooperate fully in any inquiry".
One of the issues raised by High Court judge Chan Seng Onn in his judgment related to a demonstration carried out by the prosecutors on a DVD player. PHOTO: HUMANITARIAN ORGANISATION FOR MIGRATION ECONOMICS
The high-profile case sparked public outcry, with questions raised about the evidence-gathering process and the way in which the trial was conducted.
Responding to queries yesterday, Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said reviews by the police and AGC are expected to conclude in two to three weeks.
REVIEWS IN PROGRESS
Reviews by the police and the AGC (Attorney-General's Chambers) are still in progress, and are expected to conclude in two to three weeks' time. I intend to make a ministerial statement in Parliament in November, after these reviews are completed, and will address the questions that have been raised.
MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS AND LAW K. SHANMUGAM
He added that he intends to make a ministerial statement in Parliament next month after these reviews are completed, and will address the questions raised.
Ms Parti, who worked for the Liews for nine years, was sentenced to 26 months in jail in March last year after she was found guilty of stealing $34,000 worth of items from the family.
She appealed against her conviction in a three-day hearing that took place between November last year and August this year.
In June, Ms Parti filed a complaint against Deputy Public Prosecutors Tan Wee Hao and Tan Yanying.
Mr Balchandani was appointed to act for her in relation to the complaint in July.
The AGC later filed an application seeking to be heard and to submit materials related to the case.
One of the issues raised by High Court judge Chan Seng Onn in his judgment related to a demonstration carried out by the DPPs on a DVD player, which Ms Parti said she was allowed to take as it was spoilt. During the trial, the DPPs showed Ms Parti that the device could play a video digitally stored in the hard disk. However, during the appeal, it was shown that the device could not play DVDs.
Justice Chan said if the prosecution had known of this defect, it should have fully disclosed it. If not, the trial court could be misled into thinking that the player was in good working condition when questions were put to Ms Parti, he said.
First published by Selina Lum on 2 Oct 2020