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President not yet decided on Judicial Yuan head's resignation

President not yet decided on Judicial Yuan head's resignation

Taipei, July 17 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou is in communications with Judicial Yuan President Lai In-jaw after the latter tendered his resignation to take responsibility over a corruption scandal involving three judges, Presidential Office spokesman said Saturday.
Lo Chih-chiang made the remarks after reports said Lai tendered his resignation Friday and asked the president to approve his resignation speedily.
Lo said he has no comment on whether Ma will approve of Lai's resignation.
Judicial groups have called for the resignation of ranking judicial officials in the wake of the corruption scandal that came to light early this week. In a ruling in May, the three judges of Taiwan High Court -- Chen Jun-ho, Lee Chun-ti and Tsai Kuang-chih -- acquitted Ho, a former Miaoli County magistrate and a former legislator, of corruption charges, including accusations that he took bribes in a land development project in Tongluo, Miaoli County, 10 years ago.
The Judicial Reform Foundation agreed with Lai's decision to step down. But Lin Fong-cheng, executive director of the foundation, also said: "The public is not concerned about who will serve as the head of the judiciary branch, but how judicial authority can regain public trust." Lin said the scandal has smeared the image of the judicial branch of government, and the most urgent task is to overhaul the "self-disciplinary mechanism," and establish a comprehensive assessment system to phase out corrupt and incompetent judges.
Tsai Chiung-tun, head of the Judges Association of the ROC (Taiwan), said that most judges felt that the scandal was "regrettable." But he had reservations about whether Lai should step down over the scandal.
"After all, if Lai's resignation is approved, most judges doubt if his successor can address the woes and make improvements," he added.
On the other hand, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said Saturday that Taiwan High Court's Chief Justice Huang Shui-tong, not Lai, should take responsibility.
Ker Chien-ming, DPP whip in the legislature, said that Lai should stay on instead for the remaining term of more than one year, and "carry out resolute reforms." (By Lee Shu-hua, An Chih-hsien and Lilian Wu)