The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) plans to again try to establish ethics divisions in the military in the wake of recent scandals, a ministry official said yesterday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the justice ministry and the Ministry of National Defense (MND) submitted a bill last year to establish such ethics divisions under the MOJ’s Department of Government Employee Ethics, but the legislature did not approve it.
The justice ministry will resubmit the bill and hopes will be approved in the next legislative session, which opens on Feb. 22.
In view of recent scandals in the military, and the public’s calls for improved military discipline, the official said the justice ministry expects to have an easier time promoting the bill.
About 30 military officials, including former minister of national defense Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏) and former minister of national defense Lee Tien-yu (李天羽), are under judicial investigation in connection with the execution of Chiang Kuo-ching (江國慶), who had been convicted — wrongly, according to recent evidence — of sexually abusing and murdering a five-year-old girl in 1996.
In December, the defense ministry demoted Air Force Commanding General Lei Yu-chi (雷玉其) for misuse of administrative resources because he had a large number of service personnel work at his son’s wedding.
The justice ministry official said the defense ministry’s counterintelligence divisions and General Political Warfare Bureau’s discipline and ethics divisions were responsible for supervision and discipline in the services.
The official said the justice ministry’s Department of Government Employee Ethics, an outside body, would be more effective in monitoring the behavior of service personnel. By the same token, however, the official said, the department expected it would encounter some resistance from the military.
The defense ministry had said its supervision mechanism and the justice ministry’s ethics division would serve as dual monitors of anti-corruption and anti-illegal behavior in the military.