Fri, Mar 24, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Chief prosecutor nominee pledges to probe shooting

LEGAL CHIEF During questioning of the president's candidate for the post of prosecutor-general, legislators pressed him for promises on the shooting investigation

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Hsieh Wen-ding (謝文定), the president's nominee for state public prosecutor-general, yesterday promised lawmakers that he would look into whether the family of Chen Yi-hsiung (陳義雄) -- the alleged shooter in the attempt to assassinate the president and vice president -- was coerced into saying that Chen was the culprit.

Hsieh said he would immediately check into Chen's family members' recent accusations that investigators "abused procedure" while conducting their investigations, even though there was no new evidence about the shooting incident.

"Procedural justice outweighs everything," Hsieh said at a committee meeting at the legislature to review his qualifications to become the nation's top prosecutor.

Hsieh made the remarks while answering questions from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Kao Su-po (高思博). Kao asked Hsieh to promise to secure procedural justice during prosecutors' investigations.

Kao's concern comes in the wake of the retraction of testimony by the family of the man suspected of shooting the president and vice president on the eve of the 2004 presidential election.

The family now says that police had coerced them into making false statements.

Answering a question from KMT Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅), Hsieh said he had told Chu Chao-liang (朱朝亮), head of the Tainan prosecutors' office which was handling the case, to consider appointing credible prosecutors to investigate the complaints of "abused procedure."

Hsieh is the first state public prosecutor-general whose appointment has required legislative approval, in accordance with amendments made to the Organic Law of Court Organization (法院組織法) on Jan. 13.

Another amendment to the law was the establishment of a "Special Investigation Team," an organ under the Ministry of Justice charged with investigating malfeasance by high-ranking officials.

The high-ranking officials include the president, vice president, the heads of the government's five branches, ministers or chairmen of the government departments and military officials who are ranked above general.

Some pan-blue camp legislators who support Lee Tsu-chun (李子春), a prosecutor at the Hualien District Prosecutors' Office, suggested they would approve Hsieh if he agreed to appoint Lee as a member of the "Special Investigation Team."

Lee became well-known after he summoned President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to testify in a vote-buying case in August 2003.

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