Sat, Mar 16, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Su unhappy with progress on justice

REFORM PROMISES:NPP Legislator Huang Kuo-chang said that a jury system had the most support in consultations and asked when a proposal would be delivered

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Premier Su Tseng-chang, third right, Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan, fourth right, Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming, fifth right, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wang Jin-pyng, second right, and others wave to their colleagues on the legislative floor in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday said that he was dissatisfied with progress on judicial reform and reiterated a promise to carry out President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) agenda.

Su made the remarks during a question-and-answer session with New Power Party Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌).

Huang asked Su whether he was satisfied with the progress on judicial reform pledged by Tsai in her inauguration speech in 2016, to which Su answered: “No.”

He asked Su what he would do to push for reform before Tsai’s term ends on May 20 next year.

Su said that he would seek to devise measures to facilitate the removal of unfit judges who pass down verdicts that are out of touch with society and far from public expectations.

He would also ensure consistency between new and past rulings on cases of a similar nature, as well as the correctness of verdicts, he said, adding that he would introduce measures to ensure that cases are adjudicated in a timely manner.

Huang asked Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) when the Executive Yuan would deliver judicial reform proposals to the legislature for review, adding that a jury system had garnered the most support among participants at the National Congress on Judicial Reform, which ended in 2017.

Tsai Ching-hsiang said that they would be submitted soon.

One resolution carried by participants at the congress called for the establishment of a “civil prosecution committee” to avoid prosecutors abusing their right to non-prosecution to protect members of the privileged class, Huang said.

Huang said that former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei city councilor Chin Li-fang (秦儷舫) pocketed NT$2.28 million (US$73,815) in taxpayer money on the false claim of paying assistants’ salaries, but only received two years probation and prosecutors did not appeal the ruling.

In another case, former Central Broadcasting System (CBS) chairwoman Gloria Chu (朱婉清) last year returned to Taiwan after the statute of limitations against her had expired, Huang said.

During her time as CBS chairwoman, Chu was accused of embezzling NT$16 million from a reserve fund, but was only charged with an occupational crime rather than a breach of the Anti-Corruption Act (貪汙治罪條例), Huang said, adding that this led to a shorter time frame in which legal action could be taken.

Huang asked whether Chu, as the head of a foundation sponsored by the government, should be considered a public servant, to which Su said: “She was a public servant by a broader definition.”

Su asked Huang whether a new investigation could be launched.

The prosecutor who indicted Chu should be held accountable, Huang said.

If there is sufficient evidence tying Chu to embezzlement, prosecutors should indict her again, he said, adding that if this was counter to legitimate expectations, then the Ministry of Justice should look into whether a retrial could be ordered.

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