Huang Should Appeal for Constitutional Interpretation

Article excerpt

Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming was indicted by Taipei district prosecutors last Friday for unlawful disclosure of confidential information after he allegedly told President Ma Ying-jeou of an influence peddling case involving Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu, Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng and Democratic Progressive Party legislative caucus whip Ker Chien-ming before the investigation was completed. Huang was also charged with violation of the Communications and Surveillance Protection Act by disclosing the wiretapped conversations among Tseng, Wang and Ker.

The indictment is a case of the tail wagging the dog. That's why Huang insists he has felt confident in his innocence from the moment he was accused and believes the truth will out in a trial the Taipei District Court is now scheduling.

In the meantime, Huang should do one thing. He should appeal to the Council of Grand Justices for a constitutional interpretation on whether he was right by disclosing the confidential information to President Ma on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 because the case under investigation was not that of the penal law but of administrative sanction.

Constitutional Interpretation No. 530 authorizes the justice minister to give prosecutors instructions to make sure the criminal investigation policy as well as quick, effective prosecution are enforced; and according to the Points to Notice issued in 2008 by the Justice Ministry in line with that constitutional interpretation, prosecutors may, in their capacity as representatives of the national interests, write to inform their responsible superiors of cases of administrative sanction, if they deem it fit to do so while the investigation is still under way. Well, Huang made the reports on the influence-peddling case to President Ma and Premier Jiang Yi-huah in full accordance with the Points to Notice.

There are other reasons why Huang should request a constitutional interpretation by the Grand Justices. The Constitution prohibits interference with the independence of court trials. Isn't Wang's show of concern about Ker's involvement in a breach of trust case to the justice minister and a high public prosecutor-in-chief an interference with the independence of a trial, in which the opposition party lawmaker was convicted and sentenced to half a year in prison? …