Disciplinary inquiry into Parti Liyani's complaint against DPPs heard over four days

Ms Parti Liyani applied to start disciplinary proceedings in June last year against the two deputy public prosecutors who had handled her trial.
Ms Parti Liyani applied to start disciplinary proceedings in June last year against the two deputy public prosecutors who had handled her trial.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A disciplinary tribunal hearing into the conduct of two prosecutors who handled the trial of former domestic worker Parti Liyani ended after four days of testimony earlier this month.

The closed-door hearing was held from Sept 6 to 9, and Ms Parti, 47, testified via video link from Indonesia, The Straits Times understands.

She had returned to her home country in January this year, four months after she was acquitted of stealing from the family of her former employer, prominent businessman Liew Mun Leong.

The case stirred public discussions and led to a nine-hour parliamentary debate over Singapore's criminal justice system.

Three other witnesses testified at the disciplinary inquiry - lawyer Anil Balchandandi, who defended Ms Parti during her trial, and the two deputy public prosecutors, Mr Tan Wee Hao and Ms Tan Yanying.

Ms Parti's complaint against the two prosecutors arose out of the manner in which she was cross-examined on the functionality of a DVD player she had been accused of stealing.

She contended that during her District Court trial in 2018, the prosecutors had created the false impression that the player was fully functional during a demonstration of the device.

Under legal profession rules, a disciplinary tribunal hears all matters in camera - that is, without public access. However, it has to record its findings and opinion in the form of a report.

Timelines have been set for parties to file their respective written submissions, but no date has been set for the tribunal to issue its report.

Ms Parti is represented by Mr Peter Low and Mr Choo Zheng Xi.

Senior Counsel Davinder Singh is acting for Ms Tan, while Mr Tan's lawyer is Senior Counsel Jason Chan.

Ms Parti, who worked for Mr Liew's family from 2007 to 2016, was originally accused of stealing more than $50,000 worth of items .

In March 2019, a district court found her guilty of all four theft charges and sentenced her to 26 months in jail, but reduced the value of the items to $34,000.

In September last year, her appeal against conviction was allowed by Justice Chan Seng Onn, who acquitted her after he found that reasonable doubts had been raised.

The following month, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon gave the green light for a disciplinary tribunal to be appointed to investigate Ms Parti's complaint.

Separately, Ms Parti made an unprecedented bid to seek compensation from the Attorney-General's Chambers for "frivolous or vexatious" prosecution.

This application was dismissed in June by Justice Chan.

He said the decision to bring charges against her was based on sufficient evidence and that she had failed to meet the high threshold of showing that her prosecution was frivolous or vexatious.