Fair Enough? An Examination of Existing Legal Limits on Prosecutorial Discretion

The story of Ms Parti Liyani is one of a harrowing journey through the criminal justice regime, resulting in eventual victory, but at great cost. In March 2019, Ms Liyani stood trial for four theft-related charges and was found guilty of all four charges. On appeal, it was found that the Prosecution had led Ms Liyani to make an admission at the trial below, by failing to disclose the non-functional state of a DVD player she was accused of stealing. Although she was eventually acquitted, Ms Liyani’s story is a demonstration of the impact of prosecutorial decisions on accused persons.

Demystifying Prosecutorial Discretion – What It Is & How It Is Exercised

Parti Liyani was an Indonesian domestic helper who was charged with stealing up to $34,000 worth of items from then-Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong and his family. She was initially sentenced to jail, but on appeal the High Court acquitted Ms Liyani of all charges. The High Court held that the Prosecution had not provided sufficient credible evidence to support its claims. Furthermore, the Prosecution could not rebut the Defence’s allegation that Ms Liyani’s employers had an improper motive in making a police report against Ms Liyani, i.e. to prevent her from lodging a complaint to the authorities about being asked to work outside her approved place of employment.