SINGAPORE — The maid who has filed an application against the two prosecutors involved in her court case is considering dropping the matter, the Chief Justice said on Thursday (1 October).
Parti Liyani has been overwhelmed by events in the past month and has been away from Indonesia for the last four years, according to her lawyer Anil Balchandani.
Her wish to return to her home country as soon as possible is one of the reasons she initially considered withdrawing her legal action against the two Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) who handled her criminal case, Balchandani told Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon. The two DPPs are Tan Wee Hao and Tan Yanying.
Last month, Parti was acquitted by the High Court of stealing $34,000 worth of items from Liew. This came after she was initially convicted in a lower court. In Justice Chan Seng Onn's judgment on her acquittal, he highlighted several issues with the conviction findings and how the case was handled.
On Thursday, the CJ heard representatives from the Attorney-General’s Chambers and Balchandani in an in-chambers hearing regarding the application under S82A of the Legal Profession Act, which sought to have the DPPs investigated before a Disciplinary Tribunal, and an application on behalf of the DPPs to have certain material put before the CJ.
This was when the CJ was informed that Parti was considering dropping her suit against the DPPs.
“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,” CJ Menon said in grounds of decision issued on Thursday. Balchandani asked for the matter to be adjourned for two weeks to allow Parti to reach a final decision on whether to proceed.
The CJ granted the application and allowed Balchandani to inform him by letter of Parti’s position within the next two weeks.
“This seems especially sensible because under the Legal Profession (Disciplinary Tribunal) Rules, the applicant would likely have to appoint counsel to prosecute the matter; and as I explained to Mr Balchandani, that might necessitate some steps being taken if Mr Balchandani himself were likely to be a witness in the proceedings,” the CJ said.
In the same hearing on Thursday afternoon, State Counsel for the AGC Kristy Tan, informed the CJ that the two DPPs will not object to his referring the matter to the Disciplinary Tribunal for investigation.
This would give the DPPs an opportunity to present their account of what transpired and to explain themselves fully.
The CJ noted that while this was an appropriate course of actions, it would be appropriate to grant the adjournment before making any orders.
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