The former Indonesian domestic worker who was acquitted in a high profile theft case last year has been denied compensation.
The High Court today dismissed Parti Liyani’s application to seek S$10,000 (US$7,426) in compensation after failing to prove that the prosecution was acting “frivolous or vexatious” as defined under Section 359(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code, The Straits Times reported. The 47-year-old was originally convicted and sentenced by the state court in 2019 for stealing items worth more than S$50,000 from prominent businessman Liew Mun Leong, who used to chair Changi Airport Group’s board of directors.
Justice Chan Seng Onn, the same judge who acquitted her on appeal last year, said that the misconduct of prosecutors did not amount to them acting frivolous or vexatious, noting that not all who have been acquitted of a crime were entitled to compensation.
According to the criminal code, those acquitted of any charge may order a compensation of up to S$10,000 if the court deems the prosecution was frivolous or vexatious. Liyani is the first person to apply for the compensation since it was introduced in 2010.
In her application for compensation, pro-bono lawyer Anil Balchandani cited incidence of misconduct such as failure to verify dates of his client’s employment, the delay in seizure of stolen items, and withholding evidence of a DVD player.
Liyani was able to return home to Indonesia earlier this year after concluding her four-year legal battle and filing complaints alleging police misconduct, including evidence tampering.
Some of the allegedly stolen items presented in court included a faulty DVD player and a black dress that Liew’s son claimed was his.
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