Thu, Nov 30, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Investigators merge Weng, Ma cases

By Flora Wang and Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

The Black Gold Investigation Center of the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors' Office yesterday decided to merge its investigation into Judicial Yuan President Weng Yueh-sheng's (翁岳生) handling of his discretionary fund with the probe into Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) special allowance.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆) last week filed a lawsuit against Weng, accusing him of mishandling his discretionary fund.

Tsai alleged that throughout Weng's six-year tenure as president of the Judicial Yuan, he had diverted half of his special allowance fund directly into a personal bank account.

Taiwan High Court Prosecutors' Office spokesman Chang Wen-cheng (張文政) yesterday said that because Ma and Weng were both accused of depositing their special allowance funds into their personal accounts and to avoid different standard being applied to the two officials during the investigation process, the bureau had decided to merge the two cases, Chang said.

However, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday criticized the move as "a result of the KMT's successful interference with the judiciary."

The pan-blue camp had "violated the independence of the judiciary" by forcing the center to combine the investigation into Weng's case with that of Ma's, DPP Legislator Hsieh Hsin-ni (謝欣霓) said.

DPP Legislator Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said that although the Criminal Procedure Code (刑事訴訟法) stipulates that investigations of "related cases" may be combined, the combination of the investigations into Weng and Ma's cases did not meet any of the four conditions detailed in the code.

The four conditions under which criminal investigations may be combined are cases related to several crimes committed by the same person, investigations of a crime committed by many people together, investigations of separate crimes committed by different people in the same place and persons involved in the investigations may destroy evidence or commit perjury, he said citing the code.

"I've been a lawyer for more than 20 years and I've never seen a case like this," Hsu said.

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