SINGAPORE — Former domestic helper Parti Liyani's application for compensation from the prosecution was heard at the High Court on Friday (16 April).
This is the first such application under the law, which states, among other things, that if an accused person is acquitted of any charge, and it is proved that the prosecution was "frivolous or vexatious", then the court may order a compensation sum of up to $10,000.
Parti, who is the former domestic helper of ex-Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong, made the news last year after she was acquitted by the High Court of four charges of stealing from her employer’s family.
At the High Court on Friday, Deputy Chief Prosecutor Mohamed Faizal Mohamed Abdul Kadir argued for the case to be dismissed based on case law of the meaning of "frivolous or vexatious", among other things.
The Senior Counsel said the threshold for compensation orders against the prosecution is exceptionally high, "given the unique and vital constitutional role that prosecutors play in the criminal justice system, and the importance of preserving their independence".
"Prosecutors should not be unduly inhibited, deterred or distracted from the fair and competent discharge of their duties by fears of court-ordered compensation and excessive judicial interference," he said.
Parti's arguments, made through her lawyer Anil Narain Balchandani, "fall woefully short of showing that the decision to prosecute was frivolous or vexatious", added DCP Faizal.
In deciding whether to allow a compensation order to be made, the court must have a high degree of confidence that there was some dishonesty or malice on the part of the prosecution, he said.
The hearing was adjourned by Justice Chan Seng Onn to a later date.
Separately, a disciplinary tribunal will later this year hear Parti's complaint of misconduct against the two legal service officers who prosecuted her.
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