Chief Justice grants former maid Parti Liyani 2 weeks to decide whether to proceed with legal action against prosecutors
SINGAPORE — Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon granted Ms Parti Liyani, who used to be the domestic worker of former Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong, two weeks to decide if she intends to proceed with legal action against two public prosecutors.
SINGAPORE — Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon granted Ms Parti Liyani, the ex-domestic worker of former Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong, two weeks to decide if she intends to proceed with legal action against two public prosecutors.
Ms Parti’s mind is “somewhat torn” between going forward with it and returning home to Indonesia, the chief justice noted in his decision, which was made available to the media by the Supreme Court after a closed-door meeting was held on Thursday (Oct 1).
The 45-year-old Indonesian worker’s case was thrust into the spotlight last month when a High Court judge overturned her conviction for stealing more than S$34,000 worth of items from Mr Liew’s household.
The high-profile case sparked public outcry, raising questions about how her trial was conducted and flaws in the evidence-gathering process.
Mr Liew has since left Changi Airport Group and also resigned from various public and private sector roles.
Earlier in June, Ms Parti filed an originating summons in a bid to begin disciplinary proceedings against the prosecutors who handled her trial in the State Courts — Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) Tan Wee Hao and Tan Yanying.
However, her lawyer Anil Balchandani told Chief Justice Menon on Thursday that his client “has been somewhat overwhelmed by the events of the past month”.
She also “naturally wishes” to return to Indonesia after having to stay in Singapore for four years, he said.
Because of this, she initially considered withdrawing the originating summons.
“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,” Chief Justice Menon noted.
State Counsel Kristy Tan, one of three representatives from the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) who appeared for the DPPs, said that they will not object to the chief justice referring the matter to a disciplinary tribunal for investigation.
This would give them the chance to present their account of what happened and to explain themselves fully, she added.
Chief Justice Menon said that this seemed like the “appropriate course of action” to take, but granted Ms Parti a two-week adjournment first before deciding on this.
The chief justice can appoint a tribunal if he grants leave for investigations to be conducted into the misconduct complaint.
The tribunal will submit its findings to him and he can either dismiss the complaint if the tribunal finds no cause of sufficient gravity for disciplinary action, or order the DPPs to be punished.
Chief Justice Menon said that Ms Parti may also have to get another lawyer if Mr Balchandani is likely to be a witness in the tribunal proceedings.
He instructed the lawyer to inform him of Ms Parti’s decision “as soon as possible within the next two weeks”.
In a statement on Thursday, an AGC spokesperson said that the two DPPs “welcome the chance to present a full and transparent account of what transpired during the trial… and will co-operate fully in any inquiry”.
Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam also issued a statement on the matter, saying that reviews by the police and the AGC of Ms Parti's case are still in progress, and are expected to conclude in two to three weeks’ time.
He added that he intends to make a ministerial statement in Parliament in November, after these reviews are completed, and will address the questions that have been raised.