The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) has withdrew its fifth charge against Ms Parti Liyani which is equivalent to full acquital. This was announced at the State Court today at 2.30pm.
This follows the High Court’s decision last Friday to acquit the former Indonesian domestic worker of four theft-related charges which she was previously found guilty in the State Courts of stealing over S$34,000 worth of items belonging to Changi Airport Group (CAG) chairman Liew Mun Leong and his family.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Gabriel Lim told the court that the AGC is now seeking a discharge amounting to acquital to the fifth charge and this was granted by the judge.
Ms Parti’s defence counsel, Mr Anil Balchandani sought the return of the items seized by the Police. DPP Lim asked for this to be brought offline and will discuss with the defence counsel on the matter.
Mr Anil also applied for the court to all material under the Registration of criminal act, such as fingerprints to be destroyed. He noted that this is a Prempting step as sometimes such material has not been expunged.
The fifth charge was filed under under section 35 (1) of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act. In the charge, Ms Parti was accused of fraudulently obtaining the listed items in the charge sheet. Items include Ez-link cards, bags, wallets and accessories, all of unknown value.
If she had been convicted of the charge, she would have been liable for a fine not exceeding $3,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both.
As Ms Parti has been cleared of all five charges which she was facing, she is now free to leave the country and return to Indonesia after she has her passport returned and settle any outstanding administrative issues.
Since her arrest on 2 Dec 2016 at the Changi Airport, Ms Parti had been housed by local NGO, Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME). During this time she was not allowed to work, and thus had to rely on HOME to provide her with shelter, food, and financial assistance. She was also not allowed to leave the country, and had no means of seeing her family back home.
Ms Parti shared in a press conference on last Friday that she had not told her aged mother about the charges that she faced as she did not want her to worry. She only said that she had some issues with her employer and that she is unable to remit money back from Singapore.
AGC to look into Ms Parti’s case
In a press release issued last Sunday, AGC said that it will study the judgment on Ms Parti’s case to assess what further action to be taken in this case, in the light of Justice Chan’s comments on the case.
In his judgement, Justice Chan concluded:
“In the above circumstances, I allow Parti’s appeal against all four charges against her. I first observe that in the present case, which involved a voluminous number of items, the proper handling of the evidence by the police and recording of the allegedly stolen items is crucial in order to preserve the chain of custody of the items. Coupled with the existence of an improper motive by members of the Liew family for mounting the allegations against Parti, I find that the convictions against Parti are unsafe and accordingly acquit her of all the charges.”
AGC noted that one of Justice Chan’s findings was that there was reason to believe that the Liew family took the pre-emptive step to terminate the Appellant’s employment suddenly and without giving her sufficient time to pack, in the hope that she would not use the time to make a complaint to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) about her illegal deployment to work for Karl Liew.
Justice Chan further found that when the Appellant threatened to complain to MOM after her sudden termination, Liew Mun Leong and Karl Liew lodged the police report to prevent her return to Singapore to lodge a complaint with the MOM. He also disbelieved the evidence of several members of the Liew family on various issues.
AGC noted that his findings do raise questions which warrant further investigations.