Deferred prosecution for Taiwan's envoy to Singapore

TAIPEI • Taiwan's new envoy to Singapore Antonio Chiang has been spared from being taken to court for a drink-driving offence that sparked a public outcry and left his posting to the Republic in doubt.

Sources told The Straits Times yesterday that Mr Chiang, who cancelled plans to relocate to Singapore last weekend, will now arrive here to take up his posting next week at the earliest.

Taipei prosecutors decided to defer prosecution, but ordered him to pay a fine of NT$60,000 (S$2,568), United Daily News (UDN) reported yesterday.

Under Taiwan law, deferred prosecution means the offender will not be subjected to actual prosecution if he does not re-offend within a stipulated period.

Presidential spokesman Alex Huang said he had "no further comment" when interviewed by UDN.

Mr Chiang, 72, was pulled over by police for a spot check in Taipei last Tuesday night, just hours after he was sworn into his new job by President Tsai Ing-wen. A breathalyser test showed his breath alcohol content was 0.27mg per litre.

He apologised on Friday for drink driving after admitting doing so following a dinner with friends.

In Taiwan, drivers caught with 0.25mg per litre or 0.05 per cent of blood alcohol content can be jailed for up to two years and fined up to NT$200,000.

Jermyn Chow

Correction note: An earlier version of the story said the breathalyser test showed his blood alcohol content was 0.27mg per litre. It should be his breath alcohol content. We are sorry for the error.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2016, with the headline 'Deferred prosecution for Taiwan's envoy to Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe