Sat, Jul 14, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Outgoing minister denies death penalty veto claims

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Outgoing Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san laughs during his farewell party at the ministry’s auditorium in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Outgoing Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) on his final day in office yesterday rejected a suggestion that he was forced out because he would not order executions.

At a farewell ceremony held by the ministry, Chiu was asked about his thoughts on the death penalty and his handling of several high-profile murder cases, which media reported was the reason for Chiu being forced out in the Cabinet reshuffle.

A number of heinous crimes were committed over the past few months, but it would not be right to rush to conclusions, Chiu said, implying that ordering executions would be the wrong response.

“Protecting social stability and public safety requires the establishment of a strong social safety net,” he said. “The justice ministry has since last year been working with the Ministry of Health and Welfare to improve treatment for people with mental problems.”

“Police have also taken measures to prevent heinous crimes. We have seen several serious cases lately, but it would be inappropriate if we ignored the roots of the problem and dealt with it in a rushed way,” Chiu added.

Following several highly publicized dismemberments, there have been calls for judges to hand down death sentences and for the justice minister to sign execution orders.

Chiu denied that his departure had to do with controversy over the death penalty.

He also rejected reporters’ suggestions that he was sacked because he stalled the decision to grant former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) early medical parole on appeal.

Investigation Bureau Director-General Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) is to succeed Chiu.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Ministry of the Interior yesterday held their own farewell parties for outgoing Minister of Transportation and Communications Hochen Tan (賀陳旦) and outgoing Minister of the Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮).

When asked about his plans, Hochen said that he would hike New Taipei City’s Danlan Old Trail (淡蘭古道).

Yeh, who on Monday is to take over as education minister, sang a Taiwanese song titled Persistence (堅持) at the farewell party and encouraged his soon-to-be former colleagues to persist and maintain an attitude befitting of their roles as government officials.

Additional reporting by CNA

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