About 74 military prisoners and detainees are to be sent from a military prison in Greater Tainan to civilian prisons today as about 450 military criminal cases are transferred to civilian courts, marking the end of operations for the military judiciary in peacetime.
The transferal of military jurisdiction to civilian systems has been carried out in two stages after an amendment to the Code of Court Martial Procedure (軍事審判法) was passed by the legislature in August last year and put into effect in the same month.
The first stage took place on Aug. 16 last year. A total of 259 military prisoners and detainees were sent from Tainan’s military prison — the last military prison in operation — to 11 civilian prisons across the country, and hundreds of military criminal cases were transferred to civilian courts.
The Ministry of Justice yesterday said the second stage of the transfers would take place this morning. The remaining 74 military prisoners and detainees are to be transferred from the military prison to the Tainan Prison and Tainan Detention Center under the escort of military and local police.
The military prison is also to be handed over to the Ministry of Justice, the ministry said.
About 450 military cases are being transferred as well, the ministry said, including some cases that have drawn public attention, such as the case of Justin Lin (林毅夫), Liu Kuan-chun (劉冠軍), Emily Yeh (葉玫) and others.
The ministry said Lin, who defected to China in 1979 and later became a vice president at the World Bank, would remain a fugitive wanted on treason charges after the transfer and his prosecution has not even begun.
Liu, former chief of the payments section of the National Security Bureau, has been on the run since 2000 after being accused of having embezzled NT$190 million (US$6.3 million at current exchange rates) from secret bureau funds.
Yeh, a lieutenant with the Military Intelligence Bureau who fled the country and has been arrested in the UK, has been listed as a fugitive on Taiwan’s wanted list and the maximum sentence for her alleged desertion is five years. Yeh currently is detained at an immigration center in Bedfordshire, England, where she is awaiting deportation for staying in the country illegally.