Timeline of events: How the Parti Liyani case unfolded
SINGAPORE – New evidence and details have emerged of the rift between Ms Parti Liyani and her former employers, the family of former Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong.
The Straits Times outlines the events that have transpired since Ms Parti started working for the Liews, as stated in the court judgment and as given by Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam in his ministerial statement on Wednesday (Nov 4).
Indonesian Parti Liyani starts working for Liew Mun Leong’s family. Records with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) show that Liew was her 7th employer in Singapore since she started work here in 1997.
Over the years, Liew said his family’s possessions had gone missing, including a bag he bought from Tokyo, his jogging shoes, and he had suspected Ms Parti of stealing.
Mr Liew said he did not take action as he could not be sure, Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam told Parliament on Wednesday (Nov 4).
Mr Karl Liew, the son of Mr Liew Mun Leong, moved out with his family to a nearby house. Ms Parti was asked to go to his home to help with the chores, as well as clean his office in another location.
However, she clashed with the younger Mr Liew over the household chores. She expressed unhappiness at being made to do additional work for the younger Liew.
Mr Liew Mun Leong said a specially designed power bank he received from France “disappeared” a few days after he received it, and there were only him, his wife and Ms Parti in the house then, although some others may have accessed the house
He decided to terminate Ms Parti’s employment. In Sept 2016, they informed the maid agency of their plans that once a replacement helper was available, they would let Ms Parti go.
Oct 28, 2016
The Liew family terminated her employment on Oct 28, 2016, while the older Mr Liew was travelling.
Mr Karl Liew went to the older Liew’s house with employment agents at Mr Liew Mun Leong’s request, and he told Ms Parti they were sending her back. When Ms Parti questioned why, the younger Mr Liew said there were “missing items” in the house, and the only people in the house were her and his parents.
Given two hours to pack her belongings into three jumbo boxes, Ms Parti became angry and threatened to complain to MOM. She returned to Indonesia the same day, after asking Mr Karl Liew to pay for the boxes to be shipped to her.
Before she left, maid agents asked her twice if she would like to lodge a complaint, but Ms Parti declined.
Justice Chan Seng Onn, in his judgment, said there is “reason to believe” that the Liew family took the “pre-emptive first step to terminate her employment suddenly, without giving her sufficient time to pack, in hopes that Parti would not use the time to make a complaint to the Manpower Ministry.”
Oct 29, 2016
The Liew family, comprising Mr Karl Liew and his wife , and Mr Liew Mun Leong’s wife, opened the boxes belonging to Ms Parti.
They checked the contents and took a 21-second video of items they had removed from the boxes. They claimed some of the items belonged to their family.
Oct 30, 2016
Mr Liew lodged a police report. After the report was made, the family members took and put back items into the boxes but it is not clear if the items were the same ones that were removed earlier. They also took out some items for their daily use.
Dec 2, 2016
Ms Parti, who was unaware of the allegations made against her, returned to Singapore to find work, but was arrested on arrival at Changi Airport at about 9pm. Items that allegedly belonged to the family were found on her.
Dec 3, 2016
The police visited the Liews’ houses to take photos of the allegedly stolen items. Police did not seize all the items, and photographs were taken in lieu of seizure.
Ms Parti recorded her first statement with the police.
Ms Parti was charged with four charges of theft, involving 144 items valued over $50,000.
After she was charged for theft, Ms Parti made a report to MOM about being illegally deployed to work at Mr Karl Liew’s home and to his office.
April 23, 2018
Ms Parti claimed trial for four charges of theft.
While out on bail, she stayed at a shelter run by migrant workers group Humanitarian Organisation for Migrant Economics (Home). Home approached defence counsel Anil Balchandani, who represented her pro bono under the Law Society’s Criminal Legal Aid Scheme.
MOM issued a caution to Mrs Liew and an advisory to Mr Karl Liew, for deploying Ms Parti to the younger Mr Liew’s home and office to work.
March 20, 2019
Ms Parti was sentenced to jail for two years and two months.
She was found guilty by District Judge Olivia Low, for stealing $34,000 worth of items, including the Gerald Genta watch. Mr Karl Liew claimed the watch was worth $25,000, but the trial judge reduced this to $10,000, based on the original guide price.
Ms Parti appealed against the convictions.
Sept 4, 2020
The High Court overturned the convictions. Ms Parti’s lawyer Anil Balchandani argued that the police report was a pre-emptive move to stop her from making a complaint against the Liews for illegal deployment.
Justice Chan found that the original conviction against her to be “unsafe”. In his 100- page judgment Justice Chan, highlighted several factors against Ms Parti’s convction, including the police’s handling of the evidence. He also said the prosecution had failed to show there was no ” improper motive” behind the allegations of some of the Liew family members.
Sept 6, 2020
The Attorney-General’s Chambers, police and MOM announced that they are reviewing the handling of the case.
Sept 8, 2020
Ms Parti walks out a free woman after she was granted a discharge amounting to an acquittal for the fifth charge, for fraudulent possession of property. This charge related to 18 items in her possession that are not linked to the Liews.
Sept 10, 2020
Mr Liew steps down as chairman of Changi Airport Group and Surbana Jurong. He also resigns from his positions as senior international business adviser at Singapore investment company Temasek and as a board member of Temasek Foundation.
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