A judge in central China who appeared in court so drunk that he fell asleep during a trial is facing the sack, according to local authorities. (Photo taken from South China Morning Post)

HONG KONG: A judge in central China who appeared in court so drunk that he fell asleep during a trial is facing the sack, according to local authorities.

In a video shared on social media last week, Wei Kaiyang, the deputy judge of a court in Dongan county, Hunan province, was seen dozing off in his chair as his courtroom plunged into chaos.

The person who uploaded the footage said it was shot in August, and that Wei, who was in his regular clothes rather than his official robes, fell asleep soon after the start of the trial, which was subsequently adjourned.

Dongan County People’s Court responded with a statement on Monday, issued via the Chinese microblogging service Weibo, saying that an investigation was under way.

A second statement issued the following day said that the process of sacking Wei had begun and that a further investigation had been started into other possible disciplinary offences.

According to a statement issued on Saturday by Yongzhou Intermediate People’s Court, which administers the Dongan court, an investigation found that before the incident, which happened on Aug 22, Wei had been drinking wine during a lunch with three friends.

He was so inebriated that he was unable to proceed with the trial in the afternoon, it said.

“[Wei] violated work discipline, impaired the image of a judge and caused abominable social damage,” the statement said.

The county court gave Wei a serious demerit and applied for the county legislature to sack him and transfer him out of the judicial system.

The statement by the Yongzhou court said also that another judge and a clerk from Dongan county court had been given serious warnings for a sloppily written report.

A facsimile of the document shared online showed it was littered with typographical mistakes. -- SCMP

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