Indonesian maid who took on boss says still waiting for review of police conduct

Parti Liyani in an undated photo. Photo: HOME
Parti Liyani in an undated photo. Photo: HOME

An Indonesian maid who went head to head with her former employer said today she is still waiting for details on the investigation into her complaints of police misconduct.

In her first public statement since her theft conviction was overturned, and just a week after she claimed damages from prosecutors, Parti Liyani said she is awaiting answers to her July complaint that two police officers tampered with evidence, gave inaccurate instructions, and delayed procedures. 

“I am waiting for a substantive update on my request for these aspects of the police officers’ conduct to be reviewed,” her statement said. It was published on the Home nonprofit website.

She’s seeking damages from the prosecution instead of her former employer Liew Mun Leong over financial losses incurred when she was probed and ultimately convicted of theft. She was acquitted on appeal in September. 

“What happened to me may also happen to many other disadvantaged people. I hope that the review based on my complaint may contribute to fully and transparently addressing the broader issues, and improving the fairness of the criminal justice system for all,” she added.

Liyani had been convicted of stealing S$34,000 (nearly US$25,000) worth of items from Liew’s family. Her former employer was the chairman of Changi Airport at the time.

Her July complaint pointed out four allegations she claimed took place during the four-year long investigation and trial, including not being able to see the items she was accused of stealing. She said that one of the items deemed to be stolen, a Gerald Genta watch, was possibly tampered with since it stopped working during re-examination in court.  

“At that point, and as the watch was passed around the Courtroom, its hands were moving. But during re-examination when my lawyer specifically asked the police officer not to shake the watch, the watch hands did not move at all,” she said. 

Liyani then highlighted that the four statements she made to the police were recorded without a Bahasa Indonesia translator. One of the officers who helped to record those statements and had testified in court spoke Malay. 

Then there were the “delays” that Liyani said had occurred while police tried to secure evidence, which raised “significant concerns” over their integrity, as well as the “wrong instructions” she said the investigation officer had given to the crime scene specialist that may have led to a “misleading sketch that inaccurately depicted three boxes of allegedly stolen items at that material time.”

Last month, Liyani decided to seek compensation from the Attorney-General’s Chambers instead of Liew after she suffered estimated losses amounting to S$71,000. However, since the claim is capped at S$10,000, the Justice suggested they try for mediation instead. 

Liew had resigned as chief of the Changi Airport Group amid uproar after news of the maid’s acquittal. Liyani said she did not want to seek compensation from Liew to “not to add more to (Mr Liew’s) problems.”

Liyani had worked for the Liews from 2007 to 2016, when she reportedly wanted to complain Liew to the Manpower Ministry for illegally deploying her to clean his son’s home and office in 2012 and 2013. She was later given two hours to pack her belongings and return to Indonesia. Liew and his son then filed a police report against Liyani over stolen items. 

Liyani was convicted in March 2019 on four counts of theft and sentenced to two years’ jail. She is represented by lawyer Anil Balchandani from Singapore law firm Red Lion Circle on a pro-bono basis.

Other stories you should check out:

Law firm says it ‘only played a very small part’ in surprise acquittal of Changi Airport chief’s ex-maid
Changi Airport chief quits after ex-maid acquitted of theft
Not Friends: Singapore’s top cop ‘not involved’ in former associate’s case against maid
Progress Singapore’s Tan Cheng Bock calls for credible review of Liyani case, says Singapore ‘waiting for good answers’
Opposition wants to debate Parti Liyani case, Singapore justice in Parliament
Tough topics blocked in Parliament? ‘Not quite,’ speaker says after Parti Liyani discussion rejected

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