One thing that it is difficult to understand is why, since it has already been determined that Lin acted beyond his remit, the top management at China Steel Corp who acted on Lin’s instructions are not being named as principal offenders or accomplices in the corruption case. This issue has been completely ignored by prosecutors, and that is unreasonable.
Finally, the SID seems very pleased with itself because this is the first instance of an indictment using the law banning non-disclosure of assets. This article has always been bypassed by the requirement that it only applies following an investigation by prosecutors.
However, in practice, someone who is investigated by prosecutors for this offense is normally already involved in a major corruption case — as is the case with the Lin investigation — and when a sentence is meted out, lighter offenses are neglected in favor of more serious ones. As a result there is not much need for this article. Due to the many concerns at the time the law was written it has never been applied. There is indeed a risk that the SID will be laughed at for trying to claim credit for pursuing a lighter offense but keeping its blinders on over more serious ones.
It is difficult to investigate corruption cases. However, if the overall result shows an inability to move beyond the evidence provided by the accused via confession, then either the accused is very clever, or the investigators are incapable of carrying out a competent investigation.
One certainly cannot criticize those who ridicule the SID by calling it the Non-Investigation Division, instead of the Special Investigation Division.
Kao Jung-chih is a lawyer and director of the office of the Judicial Reform Foundation.
Translated by Perry Svensson