The Control Yuan this week ordered a re-examination of polygraph tests conducted by Lee Fu-kuo (李復國), who was the Criminal Investigation Bureau’s polygraph testing expert and who presided over a number of wrongful conviction cases.
Controversy surrounding Lee and his judgements have cast doubt on the reliability and scientific validity of polygraph testing and have led to questions of whether wrongful prosecution arose from human error or unethical conduct.
A Control Yuan committee approved an investigation report on Wednesday looking into the issue and mandated the Executive Yuan open a probe into cases dating back to 1988 as presided over by Lee, who in 2008 retired from his position at the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau.
The most prominent conviction that resulted from Lee’s polygraph assessment was Chiang Kuo-ching (江國慶), a 21-year-old who was serving his compulsory military service at an air force headquarters office and who was executed in 1997 after being wrongly identified as the man who raped and killed a five-year-old girl. He was posthumously acquitted in 2011.
Chiang and his family had maintained his innocence and said that he was tortured and forced to sign a “confession.”
Lee was the polygraph expert at the bureau during the investigation and conducted the testing on a number of suspects at the office.
Chiang was reportedly the only suspect who failed the polygraph test administered by Lee.
Air force officials and the military tribunal fingered Chiang as the main suspect and he was convicted of the crime and sentenced to death less than one year after the investigation began.
In another case involving the theft of ammunition at a Taoyuan military base in 1999, officials focused their investigation on three soldiers who reportedly failed Lee’s polygraph tests.
However, tests by another expert from the police agency cleared them.
In 2000, four men were charged over the theft based on physical evidence, thereby clearing the three accused soldiers.
Control Yuan members Wang Mei-yu (王美玉) and Chang Kui-mei (仉桂美), who wrote the report, said their findings cast doubt on the use of polygraph testing in judicial investigations, saying that results can be interpreted subjectively and are prone to human error.
“We found there is no standard procedure and no regulations for polygraph testing. The use of the results in criminal trials infringes on the rights of the accused and violates other human rights issues,” Wang said.
A DECADE’S WORK: The two-volume, 1,400-page lexicon has collected more than 20,000 words and phrases, and is expected to help people learning the Liu Dui dialect The Liu Dui Culture Research Association on Saturday unveiled the nation’s first domestically compiled lexicon of Hakka-language words in the Liu Dui dialect, an effort that took a decade of work and cost about NT$7 million (US$233,085 at the current exchange rate). The two-volume, 1,400-page lexicon collected more than 20,000 phrases and words, and is estimated to be of great value in helping people learn the Liu Dui dialect and culture, the association said. It could also become a reference book for teachers, the association added. The lexicon collected phrases and common words used in daily speech, as well as local sayings, phrases
EXPANSION: The transportation ministry is to subsidize Taipei and Kaohsiung’s purchase of 63 multipurpose taxis, as well as the payment of incentives for drivers The Ministry of Transportation and Communications is appropriating nearly NT$60 million (US$2 million) to subsidize plans by the Taipei City Government and the Kaohsiung City Government to expand their multipurpose taxi fleets, it said over the weekend. The ministry said that it has since 2013 subsidized the multipurpose taxi service nationwide, as it has become a way for disabled people to travel. The nation has 980 multipurpose taxis, including 301 in Taipei and 272 in Kaohsiung, ministry statistics showed. Last year, the service was accessed more than 200,000 times in Taipei and 460,000 times in Kaohsiung, which the ministry said shows
The One Bear Museum in Hsinchu County’s Guansi Township (關西), a teddy bear museum once touted by the county government as a “luminous pearl” along Provincial Highway No. 13, is facing possible closure. The museum’s building, which was provided by the county government, has a serious water leakage problem and lacks a parking lot for buses to bring in tour groups, Hsinchu County Councilor Lo Shih-shi (羅仕琦) said on Saturday. The county government should step in to rescue the museum, or the negative reviews about the museum on the Internet might affect visitors’ impression of the township and the county, he said. The
‘NATIONAL SECURITY PROBLEM’: Two DPP legislators said the government needs to help public agencies replace Chinese equipment and pass legislation banning their use More than 200 government entities are together using 1,108 telecommunications devices from Chinese brands, posing a cybersecurity risk, a government report showed. At the suggestion of the Legislative Yuan’s Internal Administration Committee last year, the Executive Yuan investigated 7,704 public institutions to see whether they were using or had procured telecoms equipment manufactured by Chinese companies. They found that as of April 13, of the 3,837 public institutions that responded to their requests, 228 said they had been using equipment made by Chinese brands, including mobile phones, video cameras, drones and other Internet-related devices. The report highlighted products from seven brands considered to