Newspaper article China Post

What's Wrong with Our Judiciary and Prosecutors?

Newspaper article China Post

What's Wrong with Our Judiciary and Prosecutors?

Article excerpt

The acquittal the Changhua District Court handed down on Nov. 27 touched off infighting between Taiwan's judiciary and public prosecutors.

Three judges in consultation acquitted Wei Ying-chung, former chairman of the Ting Hsin Oil and Fat Industrial Company, who had been indicted for violating the Act Governing Food Safety. The prosecutors asked for a sentence of 30 years for the offense, but the judges gave Wei a not-guilty judgment for lack of sufficient evidence. Five Ting Hsin Group executives involved in the scandal were also absolved. Public uproar against the judges followed.

The dissatisfied prosecutors are appealing the acquittal at the Taiwan High Court with the support of the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The latter, riding on the crest of public outcry against the judges, went all out to condemn the acquittal to such a vicious extent that Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen, who is running for president, was compelled to urge political figures not to get involved in the condemnation, which should be left to community leaders. Of course, she did so for fear that her party's continued condemnation of the judges would affect her chances of winning by a landslide come Jan. 16. Legislative elections are scheduled for the same day, though.

The KMT is concerned about another food safety scandal trial at the same district court in Changhua. In December 2013, Chang Chi Foodstuff Factory Company was found guilty of producing and selling tainted cooking oil and olive oil and its Chairman Kao Chen-li was sentenced to 16 years in prison for his role in the scandal, albeit the prosecutors demanded a mere three-year sentence.

Moreover, the prosecutors did not put in their written indictment that compensation for Chang Chi's victims must be paid by Kao instead of his company, though they must have known that corporate bodies are exempt from compensation payments according to Article 26 of the Administrative Penalty Act. That omission canceled a fine of NT$1.85 billion (US$600 million). The victims received no compensation, but no judges protested. There was no public condemnation, either, until after Luo Ying-shay, minister of justice, telephoned KMT lawmakers last Friday, asking them to start the process of amending the food safety law to remove loopholes. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.