Acquitted maid seeks probe into prosecution
She appeals to Chief Justice for disciplinary action against legal service officers
Ms Parti Liyani is seeking leave from the Chief Justice for a disciplinary tribunal to look into the conduct of her prosecutors.
The 46-year-old is the former domestic helper of businessman Liew Mun Leong.
Initially convicted of stealing from her ex-employer in the District Court, the Indonesian was acquitted earlier this month of all five charges following an appeal to the High Court.
Yesterday, her lawyer Mr Anil Balchandani attended a pre-trial conference at the High Court in relation to her application.
The hearing was for an originating summons under the Legal Profession Act.
Mr Tan Wee Hao and Ms Tan Yingying, the Deputy Public Prosecutors who had handled her trial, have been identified as the respondents in the case.
They are being represented by Ms Kristy Tan Ruyan, Mr Jeyendran Jeyapal and Ms Jocelyn Teo Meng Hui from the civil division of the Attorney-General's Chambers.
Explaining this development, Singapore Management University law don Eugene Tan said Ms Parti appears to be seeking disciplinary proceedings against the legal service officers connected to her case.
"Essentially, she is seeking the leave of the Chief Justice for an investigation to be made into the complaint of alleged misconduct against the legal service officers concerned," he said.
He said that if the Chief Justice gives his permission, a disciplinary tribunal may be formed to determine if there was misconduct by the officers.
If so, they may be censured or prohibited from applying for a practising certificate for up to five years, have their names struck off the roll, or be fined up to $20,000.
Ms Parti was accused of stealing some 144 items worth about $50,000 from the Liews, and was convicted in the District Court last year after a trial.
Justice Chan Seng Onn, in his judgment overturning her conviction earlier this month, said he found the trial judge's decision to be "unsafe".
He referred to the family's "improper motive" in filing the police report against Ms Parti, and raised issues with how the case was handled.
In one example, he said the trial court could have been misled into thinking a DVD player submitted as evidence was in good working condition when it was faulty.
He also found there was a break in the chain of custody of evidence, creating reasonable doubt as to whether some of the allegedly stolen items were accurately documented by the police.
After her acquittal, Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said the authorities were looking into what went wrong in the chain of events that led up to Ms Parti being found guilty.