Wed, Oct 09, 2013 - Page 8 News List

Abolition is the only option for SID

By Joseph Lin 林永頌

It has been revealed that the SID tapped the Legislative Yuan’s switchboard without having any evidence of criminal conduct. Furthermore, blanket phone tapping of legislators is causing a constitutional crisis because it contravenes the constitutional principle of the separation of powers.

By his recent words and actions, Huang has been fawning on those in power, taking sides in the political struggle and violating the system of constitutional government.

He has even violated the public’s freedom of communication through illegal wiretapping, in contravention of the Communication Security and Surveillance Act (通訊保障及監察法), and betraying the public’s trust by repeatedly telling lies.

Huang’s behavior has seriously departed from the proper role and principles of the prosecutorial system. It is glaringly obvious that Huang is not fit to serve as prosecutor-general. He should resign of his own accord and if he refuses to do so the Control Yuan should set about impeaching him.

In 2006, the legislature amended the Court Organic Act (法院組織法), establishing the SID. Article 63-1 of the act instructs the prosecutor-general to select between six and 15 outstanding prosecutors to form the SID whose specific remit is to tackle cases of corruption involving the state president and vice president, the presidents of the five branches of government, heads of ministries, generals and admirals, or other major cases of corruption, economic crime or endangerment of public order.

The reason for this amendment was that only an outstanding team of prosecutors who were fair and impartial, unafraid of authority and highly experienced would be up to the task of handling corruption cases involving the president and other high-ranking officials.

Article 63-1 says that the prosecutors serving in the SID are to be selected by the prosecutor-general and that the SID is subordinate to the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office. Article 66 of the act stipulates that the prosecutor-general will serve for four years and cannot serve consecutive terms. This may have been the best possible arrangement.

However, the SID’s handling of the case of alleged improper lobbying involving Ker has not been fair and impartial, nor has the SID proved to be unafraid of authority. On the contrary, it has collaborated with those in power, making it a tool for Ma to get rid of those he considers undesirable.

The SID has failed to distinguish between criminal investigations and administrative oversight. It has breached the principle of confidentiality of investigations and may have committed the offense of disclosing state secrets.

Moreover, SID has illegally tapped legislators’ and prosecutors’ telephones and even the Legislative Yuan’s switchboard, in serious contravention of the Communication Security and Surveillance Act. Far from being a model for other prosecutors to follow, the SID has set the worst possible example.

Considering this poor record, how can the SID be up to the job of handling cases of corruption among high-ranking officials, as legislators expected when they established it? If the president nominates a flunky to serve as prosecutor-general, it is to be expected that the prosecutors selected by the prosecutor-general will also be flunkies.

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