Groups representating prosecutors failed to offer a ringing endorsement of Chen Tsung-ming (陳聰明), President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) nominee for the nation's top prosecutor, at a legislative hearing yesterday.
"My association does not believe Chen Tsung-ming is tough enough to be the nation's top prosecutor following his performance in the legislative questionnaire review last week and when looking at his record as a prosecutor," said Prosecutors Reform Association spokesman Chen Chih-ming (陳誌銘) at the hearing.
Chen Tsung-ming seems weak at resisting pressure, Prosecutor Chen added, before saying that his career record did not indicate he was an expert at probing serious cases.
He did say, however, that prosecutors from the association believed that if Chen Tsung-ming failed to take the position, the president might not be able to nominate a candidate better than Chen Tsung-ming, as there are few senior prosecutors qualified for the position.
He added that if the position of prosecutor-general remained vacant for much longer, it could jeopardize the nation's democratic system.
Prosecutors think Chen Tsung-ming is an honest and sincere person who is able to communicate well and respects the opinions of other prosecutors, Chen Chih-ming said.
"A moderate top prosecutor allied with tough special prosecutors might work well," he added.
Head of the Prosecutors Association Chiang Kuei-chang (姜貴昌) said at the hearing that Chen Tsung-ming was an independent prosecutor able to resist political pressure.
Chiang said as chief prosecutor of Taipei District Prosecutors' Office during the 2000 presidential campaign, when the Ministry of Justice (then under the control of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government) asked Chen and his prosecutors to summon former People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) over his role in the Chung Hsing Bills Finance case (興票案) three days before the presidential election, a move which would have damaged Soong's reputation and impacted upon his electoral chances, Chen Tsung-ming, believing that prosecutors should remain impartial, refused to do so.
Chiang added that during the 2000 presidential campaign, when President Chen was accused of involvement in a lottery scandal, and some politicians asked the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office to publicly investigate the information before the election, Chen Tsung-ming again rejected the request.
Prosecutor Chen Chih-ming, Prosecutor Chiang Kuei-chang, and legislators including Chinese Nationalist Party legislators Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) and Kao Su-po (高思博) asked Chen Tsung-ming to respond to reports saying he had used friends from politics and business to lobby for his appointment, and this could damage the independence of the top prosecutor.
Chen Tsung-ming denied the accusations, saying he had never asked his friends to conduct any kind of lobbying.
Chen Tsung-ming is currently head prosecutor of the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors' Office, Kaohsiung branch.
He was nominated as state public prosecutor-general on May 26, after the president's previous nominee, head prosecutor of Taiwan High Court Prosecutors' Office Hsieh Wen-ding (謝文定), failed to receive the endorsement of a majority of legislators.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung