Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday accused the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of “shielding” Jacqueline Liu (劉姍姍), the former director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Kansas City, Missouri, who returned to Taiwan on Wednesday after pleading guilty in a US federal court to labor fraud.
“The ministry tried to cover up for Liu from day one, but her pleading guilty was like a slap in the face to the ministry,” DPP Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) said.
Pan criticized the ministry for not suspending Liu for mistreating two Filipina housekeepers and her violations of human rights.
“Liu still serves as a ministry official and receives a monthly salary of NT$120,000, without being investigated by the ministry or by the Control Yuan,” he said.
Liu is also suspected of embezzling part of the salary she deducted from the housekeepers, which would be corruption and would be subject to a maximum of seven years of imprisonment if she were found guilty of such a crime, DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said.
She urged the ministry to offer clear and immediate explanations regarding the suspected corruption and for the Control Yuan to open an investigation into Liu.
The ministry said Liu had filed for family leave after arriving in Taiwan.
Liu is entitled to seven days of family leave within three months of returning to Taiwan, ministry spokesman James Chang (章計平) said.
The 64-year-old diplomat arrived in Taipei on Wednesday after being deported by a US a federal court on labor fraud charges. She reported to a two-and-a-half-hour investigative interview at the ministry the same day.
For now, Liu is “on home assignment” and is required to follow the same clock in-clock out system as used by any other government employee, Chang said.
The ministry is processing a comprehensive investigative report and will update the public on issues such as the alleged abuse, in due time, Chang said, refusing to divulge any more about the details of the Liu’s interview.
He said the ministry was maintaining its impartiality and fairness toward Liu’s case and would not cover up for her behavior if she were proven to have violated any Republic of China laws.