Sun, Feb 26, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Prosecutor nomination advances

QUALIFIED FOR THE JOB?The president's nomination for the important position was promised a fair review process by the caucuses of all parties in the legislature

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Documents concerning President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) appointment of Hsieh Wen-ding (謝文定) as state public prosecutor-general will be sent to the legislature for approval tomorrow morning.

The president on Friday nominated Hsieh, the prosecutor-general of the Taiwan High Court, to take the place of Wu Ying-chao (吳英昭), who resigned his position on Dec. 27.

Wu resigned to take responsibility for the poor performance of prosecutors in the anti-bribery crackdown during last December's local elections. The post has been vacant ever since.

The appointment of Hsieh was tentatively accepted by legislators from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and People First Party (PFP), who had accused the president of deliberately putting off the nomination for fear of being investigated himself in relation to recent government scandals.

Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), director of the KMT's policy committee, yesterday said that "the KMT caucus has no special feelings towards Hsieh and will carefully examine his credentials to see if he is qualified for the post of state public prosecutor-general."

Hsieh, 58, started his judicial career as a local prosecutor. Since then he has served as a prosecutor-general in both the local and high courts, and as a vice minister at the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).

PFP caucus whip Lu Hsueh-Chang (呂學樟) said "Hsieh has a good background in the judicial system and is well-mannered. He seems like a pretty good candidate."

Tseng and Lu, however, suggested that before his examination Hsieh declare that he will adhere to the requirements of the post and not be influenced by the government and the president.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻) and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) caucus whip David Huang (黃適卓) both lauded Hsieh as a great candidate, saying they fully respected Chen's right to nominate the state public prosecutor-general.

This appointment will mark the first time that the state public prosecutor-general seeks legislative approval before assuming office, in accordance with the amendments made to the Organic Law of Court Organization (法院組織法) on Jan. 13.

Once approved by the legislature, the nominee is then formally appointed by the president for his four-year term.

In the past, the post was nominated by the MOJ and then appointed by the president.

Hsieh was elected the second best choice for the position by the national association of prosecutors earlier this year.

The association was established with the aim of advancing judicial reform.

Hsieh told reporters upon hearing of his nomination that if appointed to the position of state public prosecutor general, he would do his utmost to fulfill his duty.

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