State prosecutor slams influence-peddling
CNATAIPEI -- State Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming said yesterday he was “deeply saddened” by allegations that Taiwan's justice minister and a senior prosecutor had improperly intervened in a case.
September 7, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
The Special Investigation Division (SID) under the Supreme Prosecutors Office has alleged that Justice Minister Tseng Yung-fu and Chen Shou-huang, head of the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office, used their influence to stop a prosecutor from appealing a breach of trust case involving a senior legislator.
Both Tseng and Chen have denied the accusations.
Huang said in a statement that he was deeply saddened by the influence-peddling charges because the two men's behavior had seriously tarnished the reputation and credibility of the country's justice system.
To restore public trust in the integrity of judicial personnel, Huang said the SID has decided to refer Tseng and Chen to separate authorities for further investigation.
Tseng's case has been handed over to the Control Yuan to see if he should be impeached, and Chen's case has been sent to the Justice Ministry's prosecutor evaluation committee for an administrative evaluation of his actions.
Huang said that as the country's top prosecutor he was determined to resist improper interference and maintain the independence and impartiality of prosecutors in doing their jobs.
He also urged all prosecutors to perform their duties with integrity.
According to Huang, SID prosecutors unexpectedly stumbled on to the alleged irregularities while investigating a possible case of corruption involving a Taiwan High Court judge.
Follow-up SID investigations revealed that Tseng and Chen convinced Lin Hsiu-tao, the prosecutor in charge of Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Ker Chien-ming's breach of trust case, not to appeal the Taiwan High Court's acquittal of Ker in June.
The SID said Tseng and Chen violated administrative laws by lobbying Lin at the request of Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng and Ker himself.
Tseng and Chen are not likely to face any criminal charges, however, because they did not receive any kickbacks or other rewards for their lobbying efforts, according to the SID.