Parti Flew Home Without Items She Was Accused Of Stealing, ‘Disposal Inquiry’ Reportedly To Come

When Ms Parti Liyani was arrested at Changi Airport on 2 Dec 2016, she would spend the almost 4 years clearing her name in Singapore.

The former Indonesian domestic helper was acquitted of all charges only in Sep last year, after choosing to fight them rather than plead guilty and accept her jail time.

On Wednesday (27 Jan), she finally went back to Indonesia after a long time away from home.

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However, that doesn’t mean her case is over yet. There’s still a compensation hearing and disciplinary tribunal to come.

Also, there’s also reportedly another inquiry to come over the items she was accused of stealing.

Parti unable to see mum for 4 years, tried to hide news from family

Ms Parti’s homecoming was announced in a lengthy Facebook post on Wednesday (27 Jan) by Ms Stephanie Chok.

She’s a volunteer with the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME), who was also helping out with Ms Parti’s case.

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Ms Parti’s return ends more than 4 years of not being able to see her mother, Ms Chok said.

During this time, she also tried to hide the bad news from her family.

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As she was on a Special Pass, she couldn’t work either, and had to stay in a shelter while awaiting her fate.

Sounds like a traumatic ordeal that thankfully ended today.

Compensation hearing still to come

However, the case itself is far from over. There are still a few matters to tie up.

One of them is a hearing regarding the compensation that Ms Parti is seeking, Ms Chok said.

Ms Chok (2nd from left) with lawyer Anil Balchandani (3rd from left), Ms Parti (4th from left) and other members of the team.
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According to her lawyer Anil Balchandani, her losses are estimated to be about $71,000.

This includes $41,000 for the 4 years she couldn’t work – at a salary of $750 per month for a maid with 20 years’ experience.

The sum also includes accommodation incurred by HOME, as they put her up after she was sacked by her employer, reported Channel NewsAsia (CNA).

Ms Chok said the compensation hearing has been postponed, and still possibly take place in Mar.

Disciplinary tribunal possibly to be convened

There’s also the small matter of the possible disciplinary tribunal to be convened.

That’s after Ms Parti filed a court action to investigate the prosecutors in her case.

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According to CNA, the prosecutors are:

  • Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Wee Hao
  • Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Yanying

Ms Parti is seeking action taken under Section 82A of the Legal Profession Act, which governs legal officers’ misconduct.

The disciplinary tribunal would be called on to investigate the facts of the case, and see if there was any misconduct by the parties.

Prosecution should have revealed DVD player was faulty: Judge

One of the issues brought up on the prosecution’s conduct revolved around something that many Singaporeans don’t use any more – a DVD player.

In Justice Chan Seng Onn’s judgement that acquitted Ms Parti, he said the prosecutors didn’t tell the trial judge or Ms Parti that the DVD player was actually faulty.

The faulty Pioneer DVD player, which was valued at $1,000.
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There was an “incomplete demonstration” of the player’s functionalities during the trial, the judge added.

The incident was “prejudicial” to Ms Parti as she didn’t get a chance to test the player until the trial.

The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) has apparently welcomed the chance for their prosecutors to explain themselves, agreeing to “cooperate fully in any inquiry”.

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They have also said they won’t object if the case goes to a disciplinary tribunal, as reported by CNA.

Thus, Ms Chok said one may be convened later this year.

Items Ms Parti accused of stealing not returned to her

The last loose end curiously involves a “disposal inquiry”, Ms Chok said.

She said the items that Ms Parti was accused of stealing had not been returned to her, so she flew home without them.

This includes a black dress that her former employer’s son Karl Liew had claimed belonged to him.

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It also includes 2nd-hand pots, which were part of an assortment of kitchenware and utensils valued at $300.

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‘Other interested parties’ allegedly claimed items

According to Ms Chok, a police officer had said “other interested parties” had laid claim to the items.

She then claimed that there might be another inquiry, in front of a judge, over the items.

This is despite Ms Parti being acquitted of all charges by the court.

Ms Chok, however, said she’s “happy and relieved” that Ms Parti will finally be reunited with her mother and loved ones again.

She also called for the process of criminal justice reform to continue, to prevent cases like Ms Parti’s from happening again.

Time for a rest

Now that Ms Parti is heading home, we’re glad she can finally spend some precious time with her friends and loved ones.

Mr Balchandani said in an interview that if she had pled guilty from the beginning, she would have been home by now after serving her prison term. Thus, she made that sacrifice to clear her name.

While there’s still more to come in her saga, the various matters are now with the courts, and she’s earned the right for a rest after 4 years fighting.

Whatever the outcomes, we hope justice will prevail.

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Featured image adapted from Facebook.