Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Servicemen to be subject to civilian trials as of Aug. 15 (update)

Servicemen to be subject to civilian trials as of Aug. 15 (update)

Taipei, Aug. 13 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou on Tuesday promulgated an amendment to the court martial code, signaling that as of Aug. 15, military servicemen facing trial during times of peace will have their cases handled in civilian courts. The revised Code of Court Martial Procedure cleared the legislative floor Aug. 6 with support from lawmakers across the political divide. The first phase of changes means that crimes of abuse or improper punishment of subordinates, prevention of filing grievances, obstruction of sexual autonomy or manslaughter committed by servicemen will be subject to the Code of Criminal Procedure. Other offenses will likewise be subject to civilian trials starting five months later. Under the revised law, ongoing cases currently under investigation, trial or execution by the military justice system must be turned over to civilian courts to be completed. A total of 250 of the 307 inmates at the Tainan Military Prison, the only one of its kind in the country, will be transferred to 11 civilian prisons in northern and southern Taiwan on Aug. 15, according to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ). Furthermore, the MOJ said it will handle the cases of 51 people currently in custody at military detention centers in Kaohsiung and Taoyuan, and the 78 people currently on military probation. The military prison and detention centers are run by the Ministry of National Defense (MND), while civilian prisons fall under the MOJ. The Code of Court Martial Procedure was revised after the death of Army corporal Hung Chung-chiu on July 4, an incident that prompted huge public protests and calls for improved human rights and reforms in the military. Hung, a 24-year-old conscript, collapsed and died days after he was thrown into a brig and made to do strenuous exercise in hot weather. Eighteen Army officers, including the commander of Hung's brigade, have been indicted for offenses related to Hung's death, ranging from abuse leading to death to illegal punishment of a subordinate and obstructing personal liberty, according to military prosecutors. (By Lee Shu-hua, Tsai Pei-chi, Claudia Liu and Christie Chen)


Updated : 2021-05-06 12:09 GMT+08:00