Thu, Jul 10, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Control Yuan paper censures ministries for probe into cult

By Fiona Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Control Yuan yesterday censured the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice, Taipei District Prosecutors' Office and the Taipei municipal police bureau for their role in the investigation of a controversial cult leader.

Sung Chi-li (宋七力) was convicted of fraud last year after he was accused of fabricating pictures of himself demonstrating his supernatural powers and selling them to members of an association named after him. The conviction was overturned in January.

Sung's followers include Kaohsiung Mayor Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and his wife.

"The Control Yuan members ordered corrective measures for the Ministry of Interior because of flawed handling in revoking the legitimacy of the Sung Chi-li Association (宋七力協會)," the Control Yuan report said.

"The ministry obviously announced the revocation as a result of Sung's case being widely reported by local media," the report concluded.

The district public prosecutors' office was censured because the chief prosecutor in the case, Hsueh Wei-ping (薛維平), gave information to the media while the investigation was still underway and violated the principle that suspects are innocent until proven guilty, the report said.

The Control Yuan investigation also concluded that Hou You-yi (侯友宜), who led the Taipei municipal criminal investigation corps at that time, and Hou's deputy, Frank Chiu (邱豐光), who later succeeded Hou, both neglected their responsibility of overseeing their subordinates.

The report also accused the two police administrators of searching Sung's headquarters without a search warrant and improperly accounting for impounded property.

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