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Government will 'strive to protect and improve' justice system to ensure fairness: PM Lee

Government will 'strive to protect and improve' justice system to ensure fairness: PM Lee

Parti Liyani with her lawyer Anil Balchandani outside the High Court on Sep 4, 2020. She was acquitted of stealing from Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong and his family. (Photo: Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics)

SINGAPORE: The Government will “continually strive to protect and improve" the justice system, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (Nov 10).

This was so that people could be assured that it was "clean, just and works equally for all”, he added.

Mr Lee was responding to the Ministerial Statement made by Law Minister K Shanmugam in Parliament last week on the case of Parti Liyani, an Indonesian former maid acquitted by the High Court in September of stealing from her then-employer after being convicted last year.

“Building a democratic society based on justice and equality is a fundamental goal of our nation,” he wrote. “To do this, we need proper and fair enforcement of our laws.”

Mr Shanmugam’s Ministerial Statement had “comprehensively put forward the facts of the case”, Mr Lee said.

READ: Shanmugam says no influence by Liew Mun Leong in Parti Liyani case; handled like other theft cases

READ: High Court's inference on key factor in Parti Liyani acquittal 'quite different' from what she said: Shanmugam

"Both sides of the House agreed that it had been treated as a routine case by the police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), and that there was no attempt by any party to influence its outcome."

He added: "This case has generated much attention and concern from Singaporeans, and understandably so. If we find shortcomings in our criminal justice system, then we must remedy them.

"We will continually strive to protect and improve our justice system, so that people can be assured that it is clean, just and works equally for all."

READ: Timeline: How former maid Parti Liyani was acquitted of stealing from Changi Airport Group chairman's family

In his Nov 3 statement, Mr Shanmugam said in Parliament that Ms Parti’s employer Liew Mun Leong, who was the former Changi Airport Group chairman, did not influence the case.

"It was treated as any other theft case and handled accordingly," he said, adding that there was no attempt by anyone to influence the police and the AGC in connection with the case.

Mr Shanmugam also said the case illustrated how the rule of law applies in Singapore, where the High Court acquitted a maid in a case where the complainant was a "wealthy, powerful person".

"All are equal before the law,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter who the parties are. Justice, according to the facts, and the law as the courts see it."

Source: CNA/ga


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