Tue, Mar 29, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Judge found not guilty for leaking witness’ name

By Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporter

The Taipei District Court yesterday found Taipei District Court Judge Chou Chan-chun (周占春) not guilty in a trial that stemmed from his release of the name of a witness to the public.

Chou and his secretary, Liu Lee-ying (劉麗英), had been charged with malfeasance for alleged negligence in the disclosure of the name of a witness who was involved in an illegal drug production and transportation case heard by Chou, Taipei prosecutors said.

Chou and Liu were found to have failed to seal a classified document that had witnesses’ names on it. As a result, after a lawyer for the defendant in the case, surnamed Lu, read the document and told his client of the matter, the witness was threatened and beaten by the defendant, prosecutors alleged.

The ruling said that whenever prosecutors believed the name of a witness needed to be classified, they should apply to a judge to do so, but that in the case at hand, prosecutors did not apply for the witness’ name to be withheld and therefore Chou was under no obligation to do so.

Chou’s problems occurred soon after he had cited insufficient evidence and acquitted former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and his wife, Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), on charges of money laundering and taking bribes from bankers in exchange for manipulating bank mergers.

Chou said in the ruling on Nov. 5 last year that the Anti-Corruption Act (貪汙治罪條例) states that a public official violates the law by taking bribes in exchange for decisions or policies that favor the bribers, but according to the Constitution, the president’s duties do not include overseeing bank mergers, so Chen therefore would have been unable to receive money from banks and reciprocate by helping their merger proposals.

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