Her case has raised a number of questions about inequality and justice in Singapore, and many have wondered how it is even possible that she was found guilty.
She was a housekeeper from Indonesia who earned $ 600 a month working for a very wealthy Singaporean family. He was her employer, the titan of the Singapore business establishment, and the president of some of the largest companies in the country.
One day, his family accused a housekeeper of stealing. They reported her to the police and filed a lawsuit that sparked great public interest over allegations of stolen luxury handbags, a DVD player, and clothing.
This month, Parti Liana was finally released.
– I’m glad I’m finally free. I fought for this for four years – she told reporters. But her case has raised a number of questions about inequality and justice in Singapore, and many have wondered how it is even possible that she was found guilty, writes the BBC.
The party started working at the house of Lee Moon Leong in 2007. Several members of his family lived in the house at the time, including his son Karl. In March 2016, Karl Liev and his family moved out. Court documents show that Ms. Party was repeatedly asked to clean the new house and office, which is actually a violation of local laws and regulations, and which she also complained about. A few months later, the Liev family told her that fired on suspicion of stealing from them. When Karl Liev told her she didn’t work for him anymore, she understood why. “You’re angry because I refused to clean your toilet,” she told him. She only had two hours to pack, and the family sent her things to Indonesia. She went home the same day. While she was packing, she threatened to tell the Singaporean authorities about the violation of labor regulations and that they also asked her to clean Karl’s house. The Liev family decided to check all of her packed boxes and found that they found items belonging to them in them.
She didn’t even know she was reported to the police
She was reported to the police, and they found out about it only five weeks later when she came to Singapore to look for a new job. She was arrested as soon as she landed in Singapore.
While the investigation was going on, she could not work, so she was placed in a shelter for migrants.
She is accused of stealing various items: as many as 115 pieces of clothing, luxury handbags, DVD players and an expensive watch. Together, the value of the allegedly stolen items was about $ 34,000.
During the trial, she claimed that the items were in her possession or that she did not put them in her boxes.
She was found guilty last year and sentenced to two years and two months in prison. She appealed the verdict, and the case was withdrawn in court until September this year, when a Singapore court finally acquitted her.
The judge concluded that the family had an “inappropriate motive” when they filed a complaint against her, and there were also problems with the way the police, and even prosecutors and other judges handled the case, reports Jutarnji.hr.
The judge had reason to believe that the family had filed a complaint against the maid to prevent her from reporting them for illegally seeking to clean another house their son had moved into.
The judge also concluded that several items that the Party allegedly stole had already been damaged or damaged, and that she had no reason to steal them as such. For example, a DVD player that the family has already prepared for disposal because it no longer works.
Prosecutors later admitted that they knew the device was not working, but that they did not point that out as evidence during the trial.
The judge also questioned the credibility of the testimony of Karl Liev, who accused her of stealing a pink knife he allegedly bought in the UK and brought to Singapore in 2002. However, he later admitted that due to the design, the knife could not have been produced in Britain before 2002.
He also claimed that much of the clothing she packed was actually his. When asked in court how it was that women’s clothing was his, he said he liked to dress in women’s, but the court did not believe him.
Police did not arrive at the scene immediately, but only five weeks after the report. They did not even offer an interpreter who speaks Indonesian but gave her an interpreter who speaks Malay, and the accused does not know that language.
Many in the public perceived this case as an example of a rich elite harassing the poor and helpless.
Although in the end justice prevailed, this case stirred up the public and their confidence in a fair and impartial system.
Ms. Party was eventually allowed to stay in Singapore to fight for herself in the case, all thanks to the help of an NGO and her lawyer who did not charge her for her work.
“It was David’s battle against Goliath, and David won in the end,” the lawyer said.
In the end, the now liberated Party will return home to Indonesia, and she will forgive her former employers.
“I just want to tell them not to do something like this to other workers,” she said.