The Special Investigation Division (SID) should not be abolished, as it solves cases based solely on evidence and does not favor any political party, Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) said yesterday as he faced criticism over the division’s handling of recent controversies.
Huang made the comments during a session at the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, which was reviewing draft amendments to the Organic Act of Court Organization (法院組織法) and the Criminal Procedural Act (刑事訴訟法).
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑) asked Huang during the session whether he felt the division should be abolished.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wu Yi-chen (吳宜臻) said the division was not up to the task, saying that it had not actively launched an inquiry into the Council of Agriculture’s (COA) concealment of an outbreak of avian influenza.
In addition, it indicted former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世), but did not ask for a significant punishment, even letting Lin’s father, Lin Hsien-pao (林仙保), off without charges, Wu said.
Former Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine director Hsu Tien-lai (許天來) and Council of Agriculture Deputy Minister Wang Cheng-teng (王政騰) were both impeached by the Control Yuan in August for covering up January’s H5N2 avian flu outbreak.
Lin Yi-shih was indicted for receiving NT$63 million (US$2.8 million) in bribes for helping Chen Chi-hsiang’s (陳啟祥) company secure a slag treatment contract from a subsidiary of China Steel Corp. Lin Yi-shih was granted bail of NT$50 million in October.
Wu also cited Huang’s visit to Nantou County to investigate former county commissioner Lee Chao-ching’s (李朝卿) alleged involvement in a graft case.
“This is why the division is unable to receive the trust of the people,” Wu said.
In response to the COA case, Huang said it had limited manpower, and as the plaintiff had brought the case before the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, the division let the office take charge of the investigation.
As for the Lin Yi-shih case, Huang said the division had made inquiries into all potential suspects, adding that the division also brought Lin Hsien-pao in for questioning, but had insufficient evidence to indict him.
On the issue of the Nantou County investigation, Huang said that due to the unavailability of the head of the Nantou District Prosecutors’ Office that day he had personally gone to oversee the investigation.
“The Nantou Prosecutors’ Office’s statement that I was just passing by was inaccurate as I remained on site until Lee was arrested and taken away,” Huang said.