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Judge impeached over conflict of interest in trial of businessman

Business associate showered judge with gifts before case began

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Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang discusses investigation into Wong Maw-jang at press conference. 

Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang discusses investigation into Wong Maw-jang at press conference.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — One of Taiwan’s Supreme Administrative Court judges has been impeached for failing to remove himself from a case in which there was a clear conflict of interest, the country’s Control Yuan said on Tuesday (Sept. 14).

Judge Cheng Shiao-kang (鄭小康) presided over a case in which a company owned by a business acquaintance Wong Maw-jang (翁茂鍾), was the plaintiff. The case centered on a contract dispute between Wong's I-Hwa Industrial Co. and the government, according to CNA.

The Control Yuan, the watchdog arm of Taiwan’s government, said its members had voted 9-2 to impeach Cheng.

The Control Yuan said Cheng should have recused himself from the trial since he had socialized with Wong and accepted gifts from him before Wong's company filed a lawsuit after being accused of breaching a government contract.

Investigators discovered that Cheng had gone for dinner with Wong at least three times before the judge was appointed to the case. Cheng had not refused four shirts offered as gifts by Wong either, the Control Yuan observed.

Details of the investigation were handed over to the Control Yuan in April, per CNA. After Cheng's impeachment was announced, he told CNA that he respected the Control Yuan's decision.

The impeachment case will next be sent to the Disciplinary Court.

According to Taiwanese law, Cheng cannot apply to retire before his impeachment case is heard in the Disciplinary Court. The court may decide to either issue a warning or fire Cheng outright if he is found guilty of violating the rules of conduct.


Updated : 2021-09-18 19:53 GMT+08:00