Fri, Aug 27, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Committee ruling needed: DPP

UNLAWFUL The scope of the new `truth committee' supersedes the judicial power and lacks checks on what is regarded to be a politically motivated group


The disputes surrounding the newly-passed March 19 Shooting Truth Investigation Special Committee Statute (三九槍擊事件真相調查特別委員會條例) dragged on yesterday as the pan-blue camp tried to defend the statute's constitutionality while the pan-green camp said they would refuse to participate in the committee and request a constitutional interpretation of the statute.

Since the special committee's ratification in the legislature on Tuesday, there have been strong objections from different people and groups, including prosecutors as well as pan-green politicians.

The pan-blue camp claimed that they had adopted suggestions from the Judicial Reform Foundation and the Prosecutors' Reform Association to adopt the independent counsel mechanism, and the statute was not at risk breaking the Constitution.

"When the pan-blue camp was writing up the statute, we adopted the suggestions from the two groups to establish the independent council mechanism. We allow the investigative committee to be responsible for investigating the criminal cases related to the March 19 shooting incident, but we exclude the power to judge from the committee," Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Huang Teh-fu (黃德福) said yesterday.

"We also deleted our proposal which gave the committee the power to investigate administrative negligence," he added.

But the two groups had already refuted the pan-blue camp's claim, saying the pan-blue camp only adopted what they wanted and discarded their suggestions. Some pro pan-blue camp scholars were reserved about the statute's constitutionality despite strong calls to find the truth and pressure to prioritize the forming of an investigative committee above all else.

"If the statute can help to clear up the shooting incident, then its promotion of justice would supersede the minor violation of the Constitutional order," said Chen Hsin-min (陳新民), an Academia Sinica researcher specialized in the nation's Constitution.

The Democratic Progressive Party and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) caucuses, meanwhile, said yesterday that they would be boycotting the investigative committee.The TSU caucus visited the Judicial Yuan yesterday and delivered a request for a constitutional interpretation on the statute.

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