A Taipei District Court judge has joined calls to retract nominations to the Council of Grand Justices, saying one of the nominees played a role in a miscarriage of justice in a 1989 case.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Thursday sparked a firestorm over his naming of Shilin District Court President Lin Jyun-yi (林俊益) among four nominees to seats on the Council of Grand Justices, which is responsible for interpretation of the Constitution.
Legal reform organizations cited a case in 1989, when Lin was a public prosecutor in Taipei.
The organizations said that Lin breached legal procedures by ordering the arrest of a suspect surnamed Huang (黃) associated with a homicide case that stemmed from a robbery.
Taipei District Court judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) said Ma’s nomination of Lin Jyun-yi should be withdrawn, because Lin Jyun-yi did not issue an arrest warrant for Huang, despite putting him on a wanted list.
Huang was found not guilty and he filed for — and received — financial compensation for wrongful incarceration.
He spent more than nine years in prison.
“During that time, convictions in robbery-homicide cases commonly came with the death sentence,” Lin Meng-huang said. “As such, Lin Jyun-yi should have been more careful handling the case to prevent wrongful conviction.”
“The Council of Grand Justices is the arbiter of constitutional order and it should help protect people’s rights,” Lin Meng-huang said. “Huang’s case shows that Lin Jyun-yi did not have the concept of human rights in mind, thus he is not suitable for the position.”
Critics said Lin Jyun-yi disregarded due process in Huang’s case because he wanted to bolster conviction rates to enhance his reputation and help earn promotions in the justice system.
Lin Jyun-yi’s nomination has also been criticized by civic groups and legal reform organizations because of his acquittal of Ma on corruption charges while Lin Jyun-yi was a Supreme Court judge.
Critics said Lin Jyun-yi’s nomination was a reward from Ma for a favorable ruling, as well as part of the president’s attempt to pack the Council of Grand Justices with his nominees, which would enable him to wield influence over the courts with the prospect of a number of corruption charges and judicial proceedings against Ma waiting for his presidency to end on May 20 next year.
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