Three senior judges have been suspended in the latest corruption scandal implicating top judiciary figures, authorities said yesterday.
The decision was made following a meeting convened by the High Court’s disciplinary panel on Friday, judicial authorities said.
Supreme Court Judge Hsiao Yang-kuei (蕭仰歸) was accused of pressuring High Court Chief Judge Kao Ming-che (高明哲) into clearing his son of hit-and-run charges. Another high court judge, Yang Ping-chen (楊炳禎), was suspected of “ethical misconduct” — including visiting prostitutes and alleged involvement in a collective bribery case.
The Judicial Yuan has referred the three judges to the Control Yuan for further investigation.
The disciplinary panel took action a day after the Supreme Court’s Special Investigation Panel raided 20 locations as part of an anti-graft campaign.
This is the second time that three senior judges have been implicated in corruption scandals. On July 13, three other judges were arrested on charges of taking bribes, leading to the resignation of Lai In-jaw (賴英照) as Judicial Yuan president to take responsibility for the scandal.
The Judicial Yuan said the decision by the High Court and the Supreme Court to discipline the judges showed the judiciary’s determination to re-examine its conduct after a string of corruption scandals.
If deemed punishable by a disciplinary committee after being censured by the Control Yuan, the six judges may be dismissed from their posts, demoted or receive a demerit.
Calling on all state employees to behave in a more exemplary manner, Control Yuan President Wang Chien-shien (王建煊) said the recent spate of corruption scandals involving judges and prosecutors had undermined the image of the judiciary and hurt public confidence.
While President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has endorsed Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming’s (黃世銘) drive to wipe out corruption in the judiciary, several lawmakers and Control Yuan members contended that the Judicial Yuan should get to the bottom of all the cases by handing them over to the prosecution.
Only through administrative and legal reform can the age-old problem of corruption be eradicated, they said.
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