Two London office workers blamed

TAICHUNG, Taiwan, The China Post Staff

The Control Yuan yesterday announced its decision to impeach two Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) employees formally stationed in England for issuing passport and certificates to the wife of one of the Taiwan’s most wanted fugitives. The Control Yuan has ordered the MOFA to immediately remove Hsu Li-wen and Chang Chia-hua, who served as a division chief and a secretary, respectively, in Taipei’s representative office in London. Hsu and Chang were held accountable for approving the paperwork necessary for Yeh Hsiu-chen, the wife of fugitive Andrew Wang, to sell her land and property in Taiwan. According to Control Yuan’s probe, the two officials issued Yeh a new passport and certified a number of documents for her even though she failed to clearly fill out relevant forms.

Yeh, who lives in England with her fugitive husband, managed to shed two of her six pieces of land in Taiwan with documents issued by the representative office. Three years ago, the same office mistakenly issued notarization of a certification to Wang amid strong criticism. The repeated mistakes has prompted Taiwan’s representative to England Tien Hung-mao to tender his resignation. The Control Yuan has decided to impeach Hsu and Chang, and it was reported that other officials at the representative office could be also subject to impeachment. Hsu and Chang were blamed for neglecting their duties and violating the rules to “seriously damage the government’s image,” the Control Yuan’s impeachment papers said. Chao Rung-yao, a Control Yuan member, pointed out that according to procedural rules, Yeh was required to sign and stamp her applications before Chang, but instead the secretary let a contracted employee monitor the procedure. “Chang’s eyes were closed when he approved the paperwork,” Chao said. The Control Yuan will forward its impeachment reports to the government’s ethics commission, which will rule on a final punishment. But the government’s watchdog declined to say if it planned to impeach Tien or former Foreign Minister Eugene Chien. It also stressed that the investigation is aimed to hold negligent officials accountable and has nothing to do with violating Yeh’s human rights. Wang, who has been wanted in connection with the French Lafayette frigates purchase in the early 1990s, has accused the government of violating his wife’s human rights since she was not listed as a fugitive. The former arms dealer is suspected of organizing massive illegal kickbacks for French and Taiwan officials involved in the frigate sales. He has also been wanted since September 2000 in connection with the murder of navy captain Yin Ching-feng in December 1993.