Thu, Aug 02, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Ministry suspends Hualien prosecutor

SERIOUS BREACH:Originally slated for a transfer to Penghu, a public outcry led the justice ministry to rethink Lin Chun-yu’s punishment for ‘interrogating’ preschoolers

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lee Li-feng holds up a photograph while commenting on Hualien County prosecutor Lin Chun-yu’s actions at a news conference in Taipei on Thursday last week.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Hualien County prosecutor Lin Chun-yu (林俊佑) has been suspended for alleged abuse of authority and his case has been forwarded to the Control Yuan, which is to decide whether to start impeachment proceedings, the Ministry of Justice said yesterday.

Media reports last week said that Lin, claiming that his daughter had been bullied, took two senior police officials to a Hualien City kindergarten on June 21 and June 28, where surveillance footage showed him interrogating children aged two to four.

The footage showed Lin ordering teachers to stand aside as he bellowed and threatened the children in an attempt to find out who had been bullying his daughter.

Some toddlers reportedly urinated on the spot.

The ministry’s Personnel Review Committee yesterday convened a meeting to discuss Lin’s case and decided to suspend him for a serious breach of conduct, effective immediately.

“We will process the documents related to the case with utmost urgency and reduce his salary by half during his suspension,” Deputy Minister of Justice Chen Ming-tang (陳明堂) said.

The committee found that Lin had exceeded his authority as a prosecutor and engaged in serious misconduct, Chen said, adding that it has forwarded the case to the Control Yuan.

“Lin spoke for himself when asked to offer an explanation before committee members. He bowed in apology and said that his behavior had tarnished the reputation of prosecutors,” Chen said.

The ministry had originally planned to give Lin a second chance by transferring him to the Penghu County Prosecutors’ Office.

However, media reports about the decision sparked a public outcry.

Lin would have been able to continue working as a prosecutor and earn a monthly wage of NT$120,000, as the ministry pays a bonus to prosecutors working on outlying islands.

“We do not want Lin,” Penghu County Commissioner Chen Kuang-fu (陳光復) said when he heard about the pending transfer. “He is not welcome here.”

Chen Kuang-fu said he received numerous calls from local residents objecting to Lin being reassigned to Penghu.

“He is a prosecutor with a dubious reputation. He should not come here to work, but should stay at the ministry doing administrative work,” the commissioner said.

Asked about reactions in Penghu and elsewhere, Chen Ming-tang said that the committee had at first tried to transfer Lin to other jurisdictions.

“However, we received negative responses from the jurisdictions being considered for Lin’s transfer,” he said.

Following a discussion among committee members, it was decided that provisions of the Judges Act (法官法) should be followed, he said.

A motion was submitted for Lin to be suspended and that his case be forwarded to the Control Yuan, which would deliberate whether to impeach him, which passed by a majority vote, he said.

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