by Lim Tean
The perjury Karl Liew committed in lying to the judge in the Parti Liyani trial was serious!
Let’s not forget that she was initially sentenced to 26 months of imprisonment.
If not for the courage of her lawyer and the good sense of Justice Chan Seng Onn, this poor lady could have languished in jail for a lengthy period.
And what about all the financial losses she and her family have suffered as a result of her trials and tribulations during the four years after she was arrested, not to mention the mental anguish she went through.
Unable to go home to her family in Indonesia as she was awaiting trial, unable to take up a job in Singapore while awaiting trial, spending all her money on accommodation until she ran out of money.
She was blessed that HOME came to her rescue and set her on the path to redemption of her good name. Providing accommodation for her when she had run out of money to find a roof over her head in a foreign country.
And for all the serious consequences of Karl Liew’s lying to the trial judge with the intention of getting Parti Liyani convicted, the Prosecution was happy with a $5000 fine and would not even accept Parti Liyani’s Victim Impact Statement?
I have never come across such lenient prosecution. And why was Karl Liew’s charge of perjury reduced from the more serious Section 193 charge to the less serious Section 182 charge when his offence was a most serious one?
District Judge Eugene Teo’s decision to sentence Karl Liew to 14 days imprisonment was much better than the Prosecution’s ridiculous asking of a $5000 fine, although in my opinion, it is still not commensurate with the offence.
The renowned novelist Jeffrey Archer was sentenced by a British Court to 4 years imprisonment for perjury and perverting the course of justice.
At that time, he was also a prominent Conservative Party politician. His perjury arose out of a libel trial in which a British newspaper had alleged that he had had sex with a prostitute. Jeffrey Archer lied during the trial, and a subsequent jury found that he had lied and also created false evidence.
Archer’s intention was, of course, to win damages against the newspaper for the alleged libel and to “restore” his reputation, and he succeeded in winning massive damages against the newspaper in the libel trial. His perjury came to light only after that trial.
Another high-profile Conservative Party politician, Jonathan Aitken, was also found guilty of perjury, which arose from another libel action which he brought against the Guardian newspaper.
He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for perjury and perverting the course of justice. His crime was that he lied during the trial that his wife had paid for his hotel bill at the Paris Ritz, amounting to £1,000, when in actual fact the bill had been paid for him by aides to Saudi Royal Family.
As the Minister for Defence Procurement, he was not allowed to accept any hospitality benefits which might compromise his position and the Nation’s interest.
Archer and Aitken perjured themselves in the hope of restoring their reputation and winning damages. I will argue that it is far more serious to lie in order to get someone convicted of theft!
Life and Liberty are far more precious than any pecuniary gains!
This was first published on Lim Tean’s Facebook page and reproduced with permission. Mr Lim is the leader of a political party, Peoples Voice and a practising lawyer in Singapore.