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September 24, 2017

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Prosecutors, police should be allowed to do their jobs: Lo

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Justice Minister Lo Ying-hsueh (羅瑩雪) fended off questions and accusations from the main opposition party regarding actions taken by prosecutors and police over the student-led demonstrators who have occupied the Legislative Yuan for several weeks and attempted to take over the Executive Yuan on March 23.

During the meeting of the Legislative Yuan's Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, Lo was bombarded by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators' questions about her speech in which she said prosecutors cannot ignore students' illegal actions.

DPP lawmaker Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) said that a request for people's medical records in the wake of protesters' attempts to occupy the Executive Yuan, which was revealed via a statement by Criminal Investigation Division Director Huang Ming-chao (黃明昭), was an action that violated the protesters' human rights.

Lo said that she does not know whether or not the order to view people's medical records was issued by prosecutors, but the police were only doing their jobs.

"It is necessary for the prosecutors to investigate and discover the truth, so the police are also responsible for participating in the investigation," said Lo.

DPP Legislator Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said that the Sunflower Movement is a constitutional issue, and that students used the energy from the citizens to save the country.

"The students' actions benefited the public, so they should not receive any punishments or be forced to take care of the damages they made to the Legislative Yuan and the Executive Yuan," said Ker.

"It will only cost about NT$10 million to repair the Legislative Yuan," said Ker. "And Lo should not be restricted by the narrow definition of the law."

Lo said that the reason why she said prosecutors cannot ignore students' illegal actions was to prevent people from assuming that prosecutors are not doing their jobs.

"I always emphasize that prosecutors will process each case based on regulations, so I will not apologize for what I said," said Lo.

Kuomintang Legislator Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟) said that the Legislative Yuan is a constitutional authority, and students should be responsible for their illegal actions.

The student activists announced on Monday that they would leave the Assembly Hall on April 10, a decision made after Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) visited the students on Sunday and promised not to hold cross-caucus negotiations concerning the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement before a law supervising all pacts with China is passed.

Both ruling and opposition party caucuses yesterday claimed that Wang will be paying for the damage caused by the student activists that occupied the Legislature for three weeks.

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