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Nationalist Government Era (2008.1.1~2011.12.31)

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Year Date Events
2008 01/09

The prosecutor of the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors Office appealed the ruling of the second instance of the Ma Ying-jeou special allowance funds case (Ma Ying-jeou was acquitted, and Yu Wen was found guilty). After the Prosecutor General convened the special investigation team, chief prosecutor Yan of Taiwan High Prosecutors Office and the prosecutor of the case, they concluded that the original ruling was in violation of the law and decided to appeal today.

Taiwan High Prosecutors Office also issued a press release stating that, as the result of the ruling of this case was related to the determination of the nature of the special allowance funds for the government executives, if the ruling of this case was affirmed, it would be the first affirmed ruling related to the special allowance funds ever. For the legal opinions confirmed by the final judgment of the Supreme Court, the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office was willing to respect and would use it as the unified legal opinion for the future cases of the respective prosecutorial organs, so that the investigation standards would become consistent as soon as possible and the stability and fairness of the legal order would be maintained.

2008 04/24 The appeal by the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office on Ma Ying-jeou's special allowance funds case was overruled by the Supreme Court on this day, and Ma Ying-jeou was affirmed to be acquitted. Yu Wen was ruled to serve one year of imprisonment, but with regard to the nature of the special allowance funds of the government executives, the Supreme Court adopted the "official expenditure" opinion used for the appeal by the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office rather than the "substantial subsidy" of the original ruling.
2008 05/06 The prosecutors of Taiwan Taipei District Prosecutors Office investigated the Papua New Guinea diplomatic scandal and searched the offices and official residences of Chiou I-jen, the Vice Premier, James C. F. Huang, the foreign minister, and Ke Cheng-heng, the deputy defense minister. It was the first time that the judiciary searched the Executive Yuan, shocking the entire country.
2008 05/19 Prosecutor General Chen Chong-ming convened a meeting of the nation-wide chief prosecutors to make a resolution on the principle of investigating the special allowance funds for the government executives. In addition to finalizing the principle of investigating the special allowance funds, it also invited the relevant government agencies to amend the existing laws or formulate special regulations on the special allowance funds system for the government executives, so as to comprehensively resolve the judicial and political disputes arising from the special allowance funds.
2008 05/20

Party alternated again, and the new Kuomintang government took office.

Wang Ching-feng was appointed as the Minister of Justice.

2008 07/01 The Intellectual Property Branch of the High Prosecutors Office was established in conjunction with the Intellectual Property Court. Yan Da-he, the chief prosecutor of Taiwan High Court Prosecutors Office, was appointed to act concurrently as its chief prosecutor. The opening ceremony was hosted today by Minister Wang Ching-feng and chief prosecutor Yan Da-he.
2008 07/15 The first stage of investigation on the special allowance funds case reported by the KMT Legislative Yuan Caucus in May 2007 was completed by the Special Investigation Division of Supreme Prosecutors Office. Nine of defendants were indicted on charges of violating the Anti-Corruption Act, including the former Minister of Justice Shih Mau-lin, former Minister of Interior Li Yi-yang, former Minister of Education Du Cheng-sheng, former Minister of Examination Lin Ja-cheng and former Minister of Civil Service Chu Wu-cien among other former government officials.
2008 08/16 The Special Investigation Division of Supreme Prosecutors Office investigated the Chen Shui-bian corruption charges and searched the Taipei residence and office of former President Chen Shui-bian and former first lady Wu Shu-chen, the Tainan residence of her brother Wu Ching-mao, and visited Wu Shu-chen.
2008 11/11 The prosecutor of Supreme Prosecutors Office’s Special Investigation Division ordered today to detain former President Chen Shui-bian for his involvement in State Affairs Fund case, money laundering case and other scandals. The panel of judges of Taiwan Taipei District Court decided to detain and hold incommunicado at 7:07 AM on the following day (November 12). It was the first time a former President of the Republic of China in the history to be detained for corruption.
2008 12/12 The investigation conducted by the Special Investigation Division of the Supreme Prosecutors Office on former President Chen Shui-bian and others' State Affairs Fund case, money laundering case and other cases was completed today. The prosecutor indicted 14 defendants including Chen Shui-bian, Wu Shu-chen, Chen Chih-chong, Huang Rui-chin and Wu Ching-mao on charges of corruption, forgery, money laundering and so on. The entire case was transferred to the Taiwan Taipei District Court and tried by the court of presiding judge Chou Chan-chun. In the early morning of the next day (December 13), it ruled the unconditional release of Chen Shui-bian, which caused social unrest.
2008 12/16 The Special Investigation Division of Supreme Prosecutors Office filed an appeal against the ruling of unconditional release of Chen Shui-bian by the Taiwan District Court of Taiwan. After the original ruling was revoked by the Taiwan High Court, it was sent back to the Taiwan Taipei District Court. On December 18th, after the Taiwan Taipei District Court re-tried the case, the original ruling was still upheld.
2008 12/26

The Special Investigation Division of Supreme Prosecutors Office again filed an appeal against the second ruling of unconditional release of Chen Shui-bian by the Taiwan District Court of Taiwan. The Taiwan High Court again revoked the original ruling and sent it back to the Taiwan Taipei District Court.

The Taiwan Taipei District Court made a controversial move and shifted the case to presiding judge Cai Shou-syun, who also tried the State Affairs Fund case.

2008 12/29 The panel of judges of the Taiwan Taipei District Court tried the appeal filed by the Special Investigation Division (hereinafter referred to as the Special Investigation Team) of Supreme Prosecutors Office, and on the next day (December 30th), it decided to detain Chen Shui-bian, and the appeal filed by the special investigation team was finally supported by the court.
2009 01/23 The Justices of Constitutional Court of Judicial Yuan issued the Interpretation No. 654, declaring that Article 23-3 and Article 28 of the Detention Act were unconstitutional with regard to the audio-monitoring and audio-recording during meetings between the accused in detention and their defenders. The aforementioned provisions became invalid from May 1st, 2009 on, and Ministry of Justice immediately sent letters to the prosecutorial organ and the detention center, stating that from February 5th onwards, except for cases where the prosecutor considers that the defendant and the defender may have collusion, destroying the evidence and so on, that the prosecutor may command the detention center to monitor or make audio recording when the defender meets specific defendants  according to the Code of Criminal Procedure during the written period, no monitoring or audio-recording is allowed when the defender meets the defendant, so as to ensure the secret meeting rights of the defender.
2009 04/26 The Straits Exchange Foundation of Taiwan and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits of China signed the "Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement" in Nanjing, and it was the first judicial agreement signed by the two sides since 1949. The Republic of China used Ministry of Justice as the sole contact window for affairs related to cross-strait mutual legal assistance. From there on, prosecutors would be able to formally follow the mutual legal assistance procedure and obtain evidence and relevant judicial assistance for investigation from mainland China.
2009 06/12 The Legislative Yuan passed the amendment to Article 93 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, stipulating that after the court receives the application of detention from the prosecutor, the court should immediately interrogate the defendant in principle. However, if the interrogation is not yet completed by 11 PM or application is received after 11 PM, the defendant, his defender and assistant may request the court to interrogate the following day. This amendment was implemented on January 1, 1999, and the scenes of prosecutors conducting interrogation deep into the night would be greatly reduced. It would also help protect the human rights of the defendants.
2009 09/01 The new amendment to the Article 41 of Criminal Code added the "compulsory community service" system and was implemented from this day. The application of compulsory community service filed by the prisoners should be enforced by the prosecutor in accordance with his/her authority.
2009 12/28 In order to fully protect the rights of the person examined, the prosecutorial organ throughout the country shall set up computer screens for the person examined in the inquiry session so that he/she could immediately read the interrogation transcript and check whether the transcript is consistent with his/her statement, so as to ensure that the transcript is correct.
2010 03/13 Minister of Justice Wang Ching-feng refused to sign off the execution of the death penalty because of her stance of supporting to abolish the death penalty, causing great controversy in the society. She therefore resigned and was replaced by Tseng Yung-fu on March 13, 2010.
  04/19 Huang Shyh-ming, the newly-appointed Prosecutor General of Supreme Prosecutors office, officially took over the 11th Prosecutor General on April 19, 2010 under the supervision of Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu.
  04/30 After the suspension of execution of the death penalty since 2006, the Ministry of Justice approved at the end of April 2010 to execute four death sentences on April 30, 2010. The Ministry of Justice stated that the abolition of the death penalty was the ultimate goal of the Ministry of Justice, but the abolition of the death penalty depends on the development of the legal concept of the society as well as the consensus and support of the majority. Since most of the citizen in Taiwan still opposed the abolition of the death penalty, so the Ministry of Justice would continue the established policy direction to gradually abolish the death penalty. It was hoped that by gradually reducing the use of the death penalty, coupled with the proposal of alternative for the death penalty and the planning and implementation of related supporting measures, people could reach consensus and the ultimate goal of abolishing the death penalty would be reached. However, according to the current legal system, the death penalty had not yet to be abolished. Thus, after the ruling of the third instance of the court, according to the "Implementation Rules of Reviewing the Execution of the Death Penalty Cases" issued by the Ministry of Justice, checks whether an application for retrial is filed, files extraordinary appeal, asks the Justices of Constitutional Court of Judicial Yuan to interpret, and uses Article 465 of the Code of Criminal Procedure regarding being in the state of insanity or during pregnancy to stop the execution of the death penalty, the death penalty should still be enforced according to law, but there will be no timetable for the execution of the death penalty.
  12/02 For the prosection against the former President Chen Shui-bian on his violation of the Anti-Corruption Act as well as other cases, the Supreme Court made its conviction on the Longtan land purchase case and the financial institution personnel case on November 11th, 2010. The Supreme Prosecutors Office sent the documents of the entire case to the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors Office on December 1st, 2010 for enforcement. The prosecutor of Taiwan High Court Prosecutors Office issued a command letter on December 2nd to transfer former President Chen Shui-bian from the Taiwan Taipei Detention Center to the Taipei Prison to serve his sentence. Former President Chen Shui-bian was the first former President of the Republic of China in the history to be imprisoned for corruption and other cases.
2011 05/18 The Legislative Yuan passed the amendment to the Accounting Act to add Article 99-1 in response to the special allowance funds for the government executives, stating that, “the liability over the filing, handling, reimbursing and using of special allowance funds before 31 December 2006, as well as the financial responsibility of related personnel shall be absolved, the administrative and civil liability of implicated personnel shall no longer be pursued, and if involving criminal responsibilities shall not be punished." Accordingly, including the indictment previously initiated by the prosecutors of Special Investigation Division of Supreme Prosecutors Office, the ongoing trial of the vice president Annette Lu, DPP chairman Yu Shyi-kun, and the Secretary-General to the President Chen Tan-sun, and other special allowance funds cases still under investigation by the prosecutorial organ all would not be punished.
  06/04

After the long-term efforts and expectations of many, the Judges Act finally passed the third reading of the Legislative Yuan and completed the legislation process. In view of the fact that both the prosecutors and the judges are the practitioners of the judicial power and have judicial attributes, they should be subjected to regulations and supervision. Chapter 10 of the Judges Act stipulates that the provisions of Chapter 9 on judges should also apply to the “prosecutors”. We hereby summarize the provisions thereof that relate to the prosecutor as follows:

1. The prosecutor serves as the representative of public interest to pursue and penalize against crimes in accordance with the law and to maintain social order. A prosecutor shall act beyond political partisanship, uphold the public interests protected under the Constitution and the law, and to carry out the prosecutorial duties fairly, objectively, diligently and prudently.

2. An evaluation mechanism should be established for prosecutors

3. Estalish a mechanism so that disciplines of a prosecutor will be conducted by the Court of the Judiciary.

4. Clearly explains the composition of the Prosecutorial Personnel Review Committee as well as the Council of Prosecutors of a prosecutors office at all levels, and the specific content of the Unity of Prosecutorial Organ principles.

It is believed that under the provisions of the Judges Act, the prosecutors can be more impartial and act beyond political partisanship, perform their duties with diligence, and use the excellent prosecutor team to fulfill their mission of being the representatives of public welfare and demonstrate a new view of judicial innovation.

  10/25

Amendments to some provisions of the Sexual Assault Crime Prevention Act were passed by the Legislative Yuan and set to be implemented on January 1st, 2012. It shall further improve the relevant provisions on prevention and control of sexual assault crimes, protect the personal safety of the people, and make repeat offenders of sexual assault no longer potential threats to society. The main contents of this amendment to the Sexual Assault Crime Prevention Act are:

1. The electronic monitoring is classified as an independent treatment and shall not have the premise of curfew or designated place of residence so that the practical implementation can meet social expectations. Furthermore, expand the implementation of preventive polygraphs, coupled with electronic monitoring as well as physical and mental treatment to ensure the safety of women, children and society.

2. If it is considered to be necessary after examination, the competent authority should order the offender to receive physical and psychological treatment or counselling education during the period of compulsory community service, so as to avoid the window period of treatment and counseling.

3. Those who violate Article 25 of the Sexual Harassment Prevention Act and the juvenile sexual offenders shall be included in the range of receiving physical or mental treatment or counseling education. It was also added that if the sexual offender violates the regulations of accepting physical and psychological treatment or counselling education during the period of compulsory community service, the prosecutor may revoke the compulsory community service punishment.

4. if the offender who committed the sexual assault crimes before June 30th, 2006 had received treatment in prison or physical and psychological treatment or counselling education in communities, is identified, evaluated and there is considered to be a danger of recidivism, the prosecutor shall file a petition to the court for an order stating that the offender shall receive compulsory treatment.

  11/23

To completely clarify the circumstance that when "one and single act constitutes simultaneously a criminal offense or offenses as well as a breach of duty under administrative law, after the prosecutor determines the disposition of deferred prosecution and the accused pays the fine for deferred prosecution, whether the administrative organ can fine the accused according to the provisions of paragraph 2, Article 26 of the Administrative Penalty Act,” the Legislative Yuan passed the “Draft amendment of provisions of Administrative Punishment Act" on November 8th, and it was announced by the President on the November 23rd. This amendment is aimed at people's single act (such as drunk driving) that constitutes simultaneously a criminal offense or offenses as well as a breach of duty under administrative law, after the prosecutor reaches the final decision of deferred prosecution or a judgment of reprieve from punishment, how the court should fine the accused, and under what conditions can the fine be deducted, so as to eliminate the concern of the people about receiving double punishments. The highlights of this amendments include:
1. If one and single act constitutes simultaneously a criminal offense or offenses as well as a breach of duty under administrative law, when a final decision of deferred prosecution or not to be put on trial (for youth) is made, penalty may be imposed under the provisions with respect to breach of duty under administrative law.

2. Where the act described above over which a final decision of deferred prosecution or a judgment of reprieve from punishment is pronounced with an order to pay a specific sum of money or to provide labor, the money paid or labor provided by the party shall be deducted from the fine imposed.

 

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