Thu, Dec 02, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Prosecutor flouts procedure with `indictment'

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Hualien Prosecutor Lee Tsu-chun (李子春) yesterday defied his superiors and announced his "indictment" of Ketagalan Institute Vice President You Ying-lung (游盈隆) on charges of violating the Public Officials Election and Recall Law (公職人員選罷法).

The Ministry of Justice and Supreme Prosecutors' Office both said Lee's indictment is illegal as he failed to gain the approval of his superiors.

On July 27 last year You, then the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) candidate for Hualien County commissioner, said during a campaign activity that he would give a monthly NT$5,000 service allowance to the county's Aboriginal chiefs to help them with community affairs if he won the by-election.

The statement was reported to the Hualien District Prosecutors Office by an anonymous person who claimed You's promise constituted bribery, prompting prosecutors to open an investigation.

"The evidence and witnesses' statements all show that the entire case was conducted by You, so I decided to indict him alone," Lee said.

When criticized for purposely announcing the "indictment" before the legislative election, Lee said, "I am only doing my job as a prosecutor."

Lee's indictment, however, is not legal because it was not approved by Hualien Prosecutor-General Kuo Wen-tung (郭文東), his superior officer.

"We discussed this case the other day and I told him that he may have to refine, rewrite or drop his charges against the defendants in the case because the indictment is not persuasive," Kuo said. "I was surprised when I realized that Lee announced his own indictment anyway."

In response to Lee's indictment, State Public Prosecutor-General Wu Ying-chao (吳英昭) held a press conference yesterday afternoon and said that Lee's indictment will be declined by the district court if he submits it.

"To indict somebody, a prosecutor's indictment must first go through his superior officers before being handed down at a district court. Obviously, Lee's indictment is not legal," Wu said.

During his investigation, Lee summoned local Aboriginal chiefs, vote-captains and DPP heavyweights, including President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), with Chen becoming the first head of state to give such testimony in front of a prosecutor.

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