Former Fiji envoy impeached

BLACK EYE ABROAD::Victor Chin was impeached for taking illegal reimbursements, and an inappropriate relationship, while a colleague was charged with sexual harassment

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Sep 04, 2013 - Page 3

The Control Yuan yesterday impeached former representative to Fiji Victor Chin (秦日新) and Leon Liu (劉壽軒), the former first secretary at the mission, for alleged misconduct committed when they were stationed in the country.

Control Yuan members then referred the cases to the Judicial Yuan’s Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission for further punishment.

Chin was charged with misbehavior including illegal reimbursement of housing allowances, an inappropriate relationship with a woman at the Japanese embassy in Fiji and negligence in overseeing bookkeeping for the representative office, Control Yuan member Gau Fehng-shian (高鳳仙) told a press conference.

Gau said that Chin demanded reimbursement of NT$620,000, equivalent to housing allowances for his dependents for 44 months, although his family did not live with him in New Zealand or in Fiji.

Chin was found having developed his relationship with the Japanese employee outside work because 52 out of 112 telephone calls Chin made in February 2011 were to her and some of the calls took place at midnight, Gau said.

He used public funds to purchase pearl necklaces as gifts for politicians in Fiji, but the representative office kept no record of to whom the gifts were presented, Gau said.

Liu was charged with sexually harassing a Fijian employee on two occasions at the representative office, Gau said.

Liu had previously admitted the allegations.

Gau said that she initiated the impeachment of Chin and Liu because their misconduct severely damaged the nation’s image.

Control Yuan members voted 11-1 in favor of impeaching Chin and 8-4 in favor of impeaching Liu.

Chin resigned as representative to Fiji in July 2011 after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs began investigating him. He was then suspended from all duties after the ministry decided sent the results of its internal probe to the Control Yuan.

The ministry gave Liu two demerits when it concluded its internal probe.

Control Yuan member Chen Chien-min (陳健民) yesterday criticized the ministry, saying it had tried to cover up Liu’s wrongdoing in its internal probe. The ministry left out the Fijian employee’s account of sexual harassment in its internal probe and two demerits were too light a punishment for his misconduct, Chen said.