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Justice ministry committee recommends dismissal of top prosecutor (update)

2013/12/14 22:55:33

Taipei, Dec. 14 (CNA) The Prosecutors Evaluation Committee (PEC) on Saturday said it would turn the nation's top prosecutor over to the Control Yuan, the top government supervisory body, and recommend his removal from office for approving abusive wiretapping and leaking information of an ongoing criminal investigation to President Ma Ying-jeou.

The PEC, a unit under the Ministry of Justice, recommended the dismissal of State Prosecutor-General Huang Shyh-ming after a two-month investigation.

The committee said that Huang gave the green light to prosecutor Cheng Shen-yuan to illegally apply for a wiretap on subjects unrelated to any open investigations.

Huang also approved the production of a transcript of the wiretapped conversation when the Special investigation Division (SID) reported possible misconduct Sept. 6 based on a conversation it overheard between Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng and opposition Legislator Ker Chien-ming.

In the conversation, Wang and Ker discussed lobbying two senior justice officials to prevent an appeal of Ker's acquittal in June in a breach of trust case, the SID said.

The committee noted that Huang went to see President Ma with information on an ongoing investigation that was obtained via the wiretaps.

Huang's actions in reporting to the president has no constitutional basis, the committee argued, as the Republic of China Constitution does not list the president as the head of the Legislative Yuan, Ministry of Justice or Executive Yuan.

The committee said Huang and SID section chief Yang Jung-chung have undermined the credibility of the Supreme Prosecutors Office, the SID's superior authority. It recommended the dismissal of Huang and admonishments for Yang and Cheng while deciding to hand the trio to the Control Yuan for review.

Two other prosecutors involved in the influence peddling case -- Taiwan High Prosecutors Office head Chen Shou-huang and prosecutor Lin Hsiu-tao -- were given lighter administrative reprimands, as the two are believed to have been forth-coming with their accounts.

The committee was criticized by the Judicial Reform Foundation, an advocacy group, which blasted the decision not to put Chen and Lin before the Control Yuan. It meanwhile called on the Control Yuan to investigate and impeach Huang as soon as possible.

The Control Yuan said it will handle matters according to regulations as soon as it receives Huang's case.

Hsu Hai-chuan, deputy secretary general of the Control Yuan, said that supervisory body will only decide whether to impeach Huang, adding that a dismissal of post is the responsibility of the Committee on the Discipline of Public Functionaries.

(By Huang Yi-han and Lilian Wu)