Wed, Dec 30, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Computer monitors to be provided for witnesses

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Starting today, a computer monitor showing the transcripts of an investigation hearing will be placed in front of every person being questioned by prosecutors in district offices across the country to avoid misinterpretations and misunderstandings.

The Ministry of Justice said the new requirement would minimize mistakes in court transcripts that result from problems such as unclear enunciation or a strong accent by the person being questioned, or misinterpreted answers by prosecutors who may not have heard correctly.

“A major advantage of setting up a computer monitor in the investigation hearings is that if there are mistakes in the transcript, it can be corrected immediately,” said Minister of Justice Wang Ching-feng (王清峰), who attended a ceremony to launch the new program.

Transcripts with higher accuracy would help prevent disputes that arise in the courtroom as a result of misinterpreted answers by defendants or witnesses, thereby saving time during trials, she said.

Some people who are summoned for questioning by prosecutors may be too nervous to check the transcript carefully after questioning, or may have forgotten details that were mentioned during the questioning, resulting in disputes over the accuracy of the transcripts.

Comments by people with strong accents or who do not enunciate clearly may also be misinterpreted.

Wang said the new requirement would increase the accuracy of court transcripts and bolster the credibility of the nation’s legal system.

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