Investigations into Karl Liew, the son of former Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong, over possible perjury and other criminal offences relating to the case of former domestic worker Parti Liyani have been completed, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam in Parliament on Wednesday (4 November).
Delivering a ministerial statement on Ms Parti’s case, Mr Shanmugam disclosed that the outcome of the investigations will be decided “very soon”, adding that a statement on the matter will be revealed later today.
Mr Karl’s credibility as a witness was called into question by the High Court which acquitted Parti of all four theft charges brought against her.
During the initial trial, Mr Karl claimed that some of the allegedly stolen items where either gifts from his father — a Helix watch — which his father testified he has never owned, items he bought before 2002, and a bedsheet he claimed to have purchased from Habitat in the UK but later conceded was actually from IKEA as put forth by Ms Parti.
Mr Karl had also valued a Gérald Genta watch at S$25,000. However, an expert had later valued the watch at only S$500 due to defects, having a broken strap and a missing button-knob.
On the issue of certain items of clothing that Ms Parti allegedly stole, Mr Karl claimed during the trial that certain female clothing — including a black dress with beads — belonged to him.
He even said that he sometimes wore women’s T-shirts, though neither his mother nor wife corroborated this.
While District Judge Olivia Low appeared to have accepted Mr Karl’s testimony, the High Court found it less plausible.
Justice Chan Seng Onn observed that Judge Low has “completely erred” in accepting certain evidence from the prosecution, noting that Karl Liew is an unreliable witness.
Mr Shanmugam said in his ministerial statement today that the High Court “disbelieved (Karl Liew’s) evidence and thought he was being untruthful”.
One example given was the High Court finding Mr Karl’s claim that the allegedly stolen wallets were gifts he received from his family to be suspect, coupled with the fact that no other witness had recalled gifting him those wallets.
This was in contrast to Ms Parti’s friend Diah Kapi, who was able to identify the Gucci and Braun Buffel wallets she had given Ms Parti and recall when and where she had purchased them — the former either at Paragon or Takashimaya and the latter at CK Tangs. She was also able to identify certain marks and signs of wear and tear in the wallets when questioned by Ms Parti’s counsel Anil Balchandani in court.
Mr Shanmugam stated today that the Attorney-General’s Chambers has decided to “seriously consider” follow-up investigations if the judgement or court decision issues indicates that there may have been perjury or other serious offences.