Ex-maid of Changi Airport Group chairman now a free woman after court grants discharge on remaining charge

Indonesian Parti Liyani was granted a discharge amounting to an acquittal for the remaining charge on Sept 8, 2020. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Four days after she was acquitted of stealing from the family of Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong, a former domestic worker has been cleared of all criminal charges.

Last Friday (Sept 4), the High Court overturned the convictions against Indonesian Parti Liyani, 46, on four theft charges for stealing about $34,000 worth of items.

On Tuesday, Ms Parti was granted a discharge amounting to an acquittal for the fifth charge, for fraudulent possession of property, at the State Courts, after the prosecution applied to drop the charge against her.

This charge related to 18 items in her possession - not linked to the Liew family - that she was suspected to have "fraudulently obtained" and for which she was accused of failing to give a satisfactory account of how she came to obtain them.

The items comprised six ez-link cards, a pawn ticket, brand-name bags and wallets, two watches and fashion accessories such as earrings and necklaces.

According to the charge sheet, the items were of "unknown value".

It is unclear if the brand-name goods, including a Miu Miu bag and two Prada wallets, were authentic.

These items were found on her at the airport when she returned to Singapore in December 2016 to find work after being fired by the Liew family on Oct 28 that year.

After her acquittal on the remaining charge, her lawyer, Mr Anil Balchandani, asked District Judge Eddy Tham to order the items listed in the charge to be returned to her.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Gabriel Lim said he would sort this out "offline" with the lawyer.

Mr Balchandani also asked for Ms Parti's information to be removed from the criminal registry.

The district judge rejected this application, saying that she can take action if these charges are subsequently held against her.

After the hearing, a spokesman for the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics told reporters that Ms Parti will return to Indonesia after resolving administrative matters.

Ms Parti has been staying at the shelter run by the migrant workers group since she returned to Singapore.

In March last year, Ms Parti was found guilty on four counts of theft and sentenced to jail for two years and two months.

Last Friday, High Court judge Chan Seng Onn allowed her appeal. In a 100-page judgment, he found the trial judge's decision to convict her was unsafe.

The reasons included how the evidence was handled by the family members before they were photographed by the police five weeks later, and that two police statements were taken from the Indonesian without an interpreter.

The High Court judge also found that there was improper motive on the part of Mr Liew and his son Karl in making a police report against Ms Parti.

The Attorney-General's Chambers, the police and the Ministry of Manpower are now looking into the case.

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