Chinese judge probed after marrying woman he granted almost everything to in divorce case
A Hunan judge has been suspended and placed under investigation after a court heard that he had married a woman whom he ruled heavily in favour of in a divorce case.
Lengshuitan district judge Zhou Xinhua granted the woman almost all the disputed marital assets in a 2008 divorce case.
He ruled that she should be granted a house and land and ruled that Cheng Senlin, the woman’s former husband, was responsible for a 96,000 yuan (HK$121,000) debt. Zhou also ordered Cheng to pay the woman 35,000 yuan for a loan taken out before the marriage.
In 2011, Zhou imposed a compulsory execution of the ruling, enforcing Cheng to pay 200,000 yuan to the woman.
Zhou married the woman in 2012, after which Cheng lodged an appeal against the verdict.
The episode was revealed at the appeal hearing at Yongzhou Intermediate People’s Court last week. Though the court has not announced a final verdict, the case has sparked public outcry.
The public response prompted Yongzhou Intermediate People’s Court to order the suspension of Zhou and begin an investigation, it said via its website.
Zhou claimed in an interview with The Beijing News that he had not met the woman prior to the divorce case, and that their relationship was only established several months before their marriage in 2012.
Zhou was stripped of a deputy director title at the local district courtroom in May after he was found taking time off for entertainment during office hours, the local disciplinary watchdog’s website shows.