Fri, Jun 02, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Minister denies role in wife’s posting as judge

‘MAD DOGS’:’Taiwan Go’ host Liao Hsiao-chun said it was unfortunate that Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san did not take questions after threatening a libel lawsuit

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san gestures at a news conference at the Ministry of Justice in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) at a news conference in Taipei yesterday likened detractors to “mad dogs barking in the street” as he denied allegations of improper influence to help his wife return to work as a district court judge.

His three accusers must issue public apologies within five days or he would file libel lawsuits, Chiu said, adding that the situation arose because of irresponsible reports that “fabricated most of the information.”

Chiu’s statements came one day after pundits on Taiwan Go, a political talk show produced by Sanlih E-Television, accused Chiu of improper influence in 2011.

Attorney Chou Wu-jung (周武榮) and legal expert Huang Yueh-hung (黃越宏) — who publishes Journal on the Rule of Law (法治時報) — told Taiwan Go host Liao Hsiao-chun (廖筱君) that Sung Fu-mei (宋富美) returned to the judiciary and was made district court judge in Taichung after Sung had resigned as a high-court judge in 2001 to avoid a conflict of interest as Chiu was running for his second term as a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker.

Liao and Huang attended the news conference, sitting at the back of room as Chiu said that the accusations had no factual basis.

“Most of the time, my attitude when dealing with gossip shows and their irresponsible reporting is to treat it like a mad dog barking at you on the street,” Chiu said. “Of course, you do not bark back, but ignore it and walk away.”

“However, on Taiwan Go, they spoke in conjecture and fabricated content, accusing me of improper influence on my wife’s behalf,” he said. “I am quite disappointed. The show was just the pundits making up stories.”

“They did not provide any factual information about what took place, when, where or with who,” he said.

“Therefore I demand that Liao as host of the show, as well as Huang and Chou, issue public apologies regarding their accusations against me,” he said. “If this is not done, I will sue for libel and will also request financial compensation.”

Chiu said that in 2011 he was dean of the law department at Asia University in Taichung and did not hold an important position at DPP headquarters.

“The ruling party was the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), and the DPP only had one-quarter of the seats in the legislature. How would it have been possible for me to influence what job my wife was given?” he asked.

Chiu did not answer questions at the news conference.

After Chiu’s departure, Liao spoke to reporters, saying: “It is regretful that the minister did not take questions... If we have done anything wrong, then we welcome a lawsuit, but we wanted to ask if he would be willing to see an investigation into the allegations.”

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