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Disgraced diplomat to be suspended for two years: commission

2012/07/05 22:51:02

Taipei, July 5 (CNA) Taiwanese diplomat Jacqueline Liu will be suspended from duties for two years for seriously damaging the country's reputation, and on suspicion of allowing access to national security information by a Chinese woman, said the Judicial Yuan's disciplinary commission Thursday.

The Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission decided that Liu had violated articles five and seven of the Civil Servants Work Act and should be suspended from duties for two years.

Liu, who was Taiwan's former director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Kansas City in the United States, was accused by the U.S.' Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in November 2011 of abusing her two Filipino maids and paying them only a fraction of the salary stated in their contracts.

The commission pointed out Liu had violated U.S. federal laws by paying her two Filipino maids a different salary from earnings submitted in work visa application forms to the U.S. embassy in the Philippines.

In addition, the commission noted Liu did not consult Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) before being questioned by the FBI in October 2011 or report back to the ministry immediately afterwards.

She further damaged the country's reputation when the FBI detained her on Nov. 10 last year and she admitted to committing "fraud in foreign labor contracting," the commission added.

Liu entered a plea agreement with a U.S. court and was ordered to pay US$80,044 in restitution to the two maids on Jan. 27, 2012.

In addition, there were misgivings that national security information may have been leaked because Liu hired a Chinese person to work at her official residence and allowed her to have free access to Liu's home computer and secure telephone, said the commission.

The Chinese woman Xie Dengfeng was hired by Liu to replace the Filipino maids during September and November 2011.

Liu violated MOFA regulations issued on May 10, 1999 that prohibit employees at it overseas missions from hiring Chinese nationals, the commission added.


(By Huang Yi-han and C.J. Lin) ENDITEM/npw