A Taiwan High Court judge and the president of a district court were disciplined for negligence of duty for failing to appeal on the behalf of a defendant who faced charges of robbery and manslaughter, the Judicial Yuan said on Wednesday.
The internal review committee of the Judicial Yuan ruled that Chiu Tung-yin (邱同印), a Taiwan High Court judge, would be given two demerits, while Miaoli District Court president Wen Yao-yuan (溫耀源) would be reprimanded twice.
The committee also decided to demote Wen, who had offered to resign and was granted the request on Monday, to a Taiwan High Court judge.
“I have nothing to say,” Wen said after learning the results of the ruling. “I should take responsibility for the credibility of the individual and the justice system.”
At issue was the case of Chen Tai-yi (陳泰益), who was convicted for the 2001 robbery of an International Commercial Bank of China (ICBC, which later changed its name to Mega International Commercial Bank after a merger) branch in New Taipei City (新北市). During the robbery, a ranking official of the branch was shot and killed.
The court sentenced Chen to death in the first trial. During the third re-trial at the High Court, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. He said at the time that he would forgo appeal.
Chiu, who was judging the case at the time, failed to appeal on Chen’s behalf, which was his official duty.
Wen, who was then chief judge, endorsed Chiu’s decision.
The matter only came to light after a judge found earlier this month that there was a serious flaw in the proceedings. The defendant has already served eight years in prison.
Meanwhile, a court clerk was given two demerits and dismissed after he was found to have concealed more than 100 criminal cases over a period of eight years, the Taoyuan District Court ruled on Monday.
The court said that the clerk, surnamed Chang, did not turn cases over as the law demanded. As a result, five defendants escaped jail terms because of the expiration of their legal prosecution periods.
The court is also trying to determine if Chang’s deeds are due to negligence, or whether he was involved in other irregularities.