SINGAPORE – The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) will be assessing if it ought to take further action in a recent case where an Indonesian maid was acquitted of stealing from Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong and his family.
In a statement on Sunday (6 September), the AGC said that it will study the judgment of High Court judge Justice Chan Seng Onn. Justice Chan’s findings in the case where ex-helper Parti Liyani was acquitted of all four theft charges upon appeal, the AGC said, “do raise questions which warrant further investigations”.
Parti, 46, who was represented pro bono by lawyer Anil Balchandani, was initially convicted by the State Courts of stealing over $34,000 worth of items from the Liew family while she was under their employ.
In arriving at his decision, one of Justice Chan’s findings, the AGC said, was that “there was reason to believe that the Liew family took the pre-emptive step to terminate the appellant’s employment suddenly and without giving her sufficient time to pack, in the hope that she would not use the time to make a complaint to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) about her illegal deployment”. She had been asked to clean the home and office of Liew’s son, Karl.
“Justice Chan further found that when the appellant threatened to complain to MOM after her sudden termination, Liew Mun Leong and Karl Liew lodged the police report to prevent her return to Singapore to lodge a complaint with the MOM,” the AGC said. Justice Chan also “disbelieved the evidence of several members of the Liew family on various issues”.
Balchandani had told the court on Friday that his client will be seeking compensation from the Liew family, which will take into account her loss of income in the four years she was unable to work while the court case was pending. The lawyer estimated the loss to be “several tens of thousands”.
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