Thu, Jul 02, 2009 - Page 3 News List

MOJ may revise detention rules

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Vice Minister of Justice Huang Shih-ming explains proposed amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure in Taipei on June 19.

PHOTO: LO PEI-DER, TAIPEI TIMES

Vice Minister of Justice Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) said yesterday that the government was considering revising the regulations on the detention period for suspects in crimes that would entail a sentence of less than 10 years to better protect their human rights.

Huang made the remarks at a press briefing at the Government Information Office yesterday.

The Ministry of Justice has suggested that the Judicial Yuan, the regulatory agency of the Code of Criminal Procedure, amend Article 108 of the code.

In accordance with the code, prosecutors can ask for an extension for a maximum of two months to continue if they consider it necessary to detain a suspect when the first two-month period expires.

The regulations are applied to suspects whose cases are before the court and who are in crimes that would entail a sentence of less than 10 years.

For suspects in crimes that could result in a sentence of 10 years or more, currently no upper limit on the duration of detention is set under the code.

Huang said that the ministry suggested dividing the two-month extension into a maximum of one month, which can be followed by another month, which he said would “give judges an extra opportunity” to examine the requests by prosecutors to continue to keep suspects in custody.

A few days ago, the ministry presented a proposal on issues concerning the human rights of suspects at the Executive Yuan’s Human Rights Protection and Promotion Committee, in which it said that the lack of a maximum limit on the duration of detention for suspects in crimes that would entail a sentence of 10 years or more could be at the root of many lawsuits that drag on for years.

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