Parti Liyani has decided to go ahead with complaint against 2 DPPs for misconduct: NGO

SINGAPORE – Former domestic worker Parti Liyani has decided to go ahead with her bid to start disciplinary proceedings against two prosecutors, after being granted two weeks to consider whether she wanted to proceed.

In response to media queries, a spokesman for migrant workers group Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home) said Ms Parti has “resolved to proceed” with the case. The non-governmental organisation (NGO) declined further comment.

Ms Parti, 46, 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.

Earlier this month, her application was heard in chambers by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon.

At the hearing, her lawyer, Mr Anil Balchandani, said that his client considered withdrawing the complaint, as she was “torn” about whether she wanted to proceed with the case.

On the one hand, Ms Parti believes that the two deputy public prosecutors (DPPs) should answer the allegations she has raised in her affidavit, said the lawyer.

However, she also wished to return to Indonesia as soon as possible, as she has not been home for the last four years.

At the end of the hearing, the Chief Justice granted a two-week adjournment for Ms Parti to come to a final decision as to whether she intends to proceed with the case or not.

The Chief Justice also noted that Ms Parti would likely have to appoint another lawyer if Mr Balchandani is to be a witness in the proceedings.

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.

The AGC has said that 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”.

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The high-profile case sparked public outcry, with questions raised about the evidence-gathering process and the way in which the trial was conducted.

Reviews by the police and AGC are expected to conclude in two to three weeks.

Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam has said 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, had claimed trial in April 2018 to accusations that she stole $34,000 worth of items from the family.

While out on bail, she stayed at a shelter run by migrant workers group Home. Mr Balchandani, who represented her pro bono under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, was approached by the NGO.

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In March last year, the Indonesian was sentenced to 26 months in jail.

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.

In acquitting Ms Parti, 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.

Ms Parti said she was allowed to take the player, as it was broken.

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.

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Justice Chan had said that 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.

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