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Supreme Prosecutors Office disagrees with controversial resolution

2012/06/21 10:43:32

Taipei, June 21 (CNA) The Supreme Prosecutors Office disagreed with the Supreme Court Wednesday on a controversial court resolution that judges are obliged to investigate only evidence favorable to the accused.

The Supreme Prosecutors Office said in a news release that the resolution contravenes the intent of the law, saying that the court's limited interpretation of the law is tantamount to a de facto revision of the law.

It also ignores the main purpose of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which is to "find the truth," adding that whether evidence is favorable to the accused cannot be known until after an investigation, the office said.

The office said that it took stock of the intent of the legislation as well as collected opinions from all sides before presenting its views to the Supreme Court.

At issue is a resolution reached by the Supreme Court early this year that said judges should in principle only investigate evidence favorable to the accused and that prosecutors should shoulder all responsibility for submitting such evidence. If the evidence produced is insufficient, the accused should be ruled innocent.

Wu Hsun-lung, a prosecutor from the Penghu District Prosecutors Office, staged a sit-in in front of the Supreme Court June 4 to protest against the resolution, which he said has "greatly lessened the burden on judges."

According to Wu, no judges in any other country have been restricted from investigating evidence unfavorable to the accused.

He also said that according to the Code of Criminal Procedure, court judges are obliged to investigate all the evidence submitted -- unfavorable or favorable -- relating to the accused, so as to maintain judicial justice and fairness.

After Wu's sit-in, which received an enthusiastic response from his colleagues, Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming suggested to Yang Ting-chang, president of the Supreme Court, that a seminar should be convened in which judges, prosecutors and scholars could fully discuss the issue to resolve their differences.

The suggestion was rejected.

(By Liu Shih-yi and Lilian Wu)