US using ‘flawed’ procedures in prosecution of Liu: MOFA

By Joseph Yeh, The China Post

The China Post–A senior Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official yesterday accused prosecutors in the United States of using “flawed” procedures in using the words of three officials at Taiwan’s representative office in Kansas as evidence to bring charges against representative Jacqueline Liu (劉姍姍), who has been detained since Nov. 10 for alleged underpaying and overworking her Filipino housekeeper.

Bruce Linghu, director-general of MOFA’s Department of North American Affairs, said the three staff in the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Kansas City, Missouri, did agree to meet with agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). However, they met with the FBI agents only to facilitate the finding of the runaway housekeeper, since it was Liu, director-general of the TECO in Kansas City, who first reported the disappearance to police in August, Linghu said. “The meeting was not part of a legal investigation, and they were not there to serve as witnesses of the charges made against Liu,” he said. Linghu added that the meeting did not take place at the TECO office nor in the FBI office, since the ministry wanted to avoid possible jurisdiction and diplomatic immunity disputes. Listed as Witnesses Without Consent

It was “flawed” that U.S. prosecutors ultimately used the comments made by the trio Taiwanese to serve as testimonies in an attempt to prove Liu’s alleged involvement in labor fraud, without the consent of Taiwan’s side, he added. The MOFA also previously accused the FBI of violating due process when questioning three Taiwanese officials without letting them know in advance that they would be listed as witnesses and their testimonies were included in the affidavit in support of the FBI’s claim against Liu. The MOFA will conduct a thorough investigation of the issue after Liu is allowed to return to Taiwan, he said. Linghu also said the three are still currently working in the TECO office in Kansas. Meanwhile, the MOFA official also said the next hearing for Liu’s case will not be held until sometime next week after the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

U.S. District Judge David Gregory Kays did not accept Liu’s plea bargain at a hearing in Kansas City last Friday, therefore the diplomat pleaded guilty to a charge of violating U.S. federal labor law and was remanded in custody.