The Control Yuan yesterday censured the Ministry of Justice for failing to punish a prosecutor for misconduct as the watchdog body had requested.
The Control Yuan asked the ministry in 2002 to deal with Prosecutor Hou Kuan-jen (侯寬仁) abusing his power by suing the head of the Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy for fraud and tax evasion.
The watchdog agency said Hou had violated the Code of Criminal Procedure (刑事訴訟法) by illegally searching Tai Ji Men president Hong Shih-ho’s (洪石和) property, freezing his assets and prosecuting him in 1997.
A group of Hong’s former students had accused him of taking money from them by claiming to be a god and possessing miraculous powers. Hou, who was working at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office at the time, indicted Hong and four others based on the students’ complaint.
However, the ministry did not punish Hou for misconduct, but instead assigned another prosecutor to conduct an “administrative investigation” of Hou’s actions. The investigation concluded that Hou was not guilty of any wrongdoing in Hong’s case.
In 2007 the Supreme Court acquitted Hong of all the charges brought against him.
The Control Yuan said that the ministry’s reluctance to punish the prosecutor had substantially “undermined” the credibility of the nation’s judiciary.
Hong, who is also known as Hong Tao-tze (洪道子), founded Tai Ji Men in 1966. The group has tens of thousands of practitioners, and two centers in the US.
In other news concerning the justice ministry, it said radio frequency identification devices (RFID) had been placed on 163 parolees convicted of sexual assault since January 2006.
Chief Secretary Sung Kao-ye (宋國業) said the ministry planned to utilize the newest RFID tags equipped with GPS, which could track sexual offenders more effectively.
The ministry also plans to establish a number of “hot spots,” such as elementary schools, that would use the RFID tags to sound an alarm and alert authorities if the wearer approaches a hot spot, Sung said.
Law enforcement authorities could not completely prevent parolees from reoffending with the technology currently available, but the advanced RFID tags would limit chances of repeat offenses, he said.