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MOJ criticizes KMT corruption amendment

MOJ criticizes KMT corruption amendment

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Ministry of Justice on Wednesday criticized an amendment proposed by Kuomintang lawmakers which some have interpreted as planning to protect President Ma Ying-jeou from future corruption trials.
Former President Chen Shui-bian was sentenced to 20 years in prison, partly based on anti-corruption laws which mentioned the head of state’s power and influence as a motive.
KMT lawmaker Lu Hsueh-chang proposed an amendment which would narrow the range of the anti-corruption legislation, striking out the president’s purported influence as a motive, reports said.
As Ma is facing an investigation by the Supreme Prosecutors Office Special Investigation Division into allegations that he accepted contributions from Ting Hsin International, Lu’s proposal could help him evade possible future corruption trials, critics said.
Deputy Justice Minister Wu Chen-huan said Wednesday that if the law were narrowed down, it would be difficult to prosecute influential public employees. He defended the present system, saying it embodied methods from Japan which considered public affairs as wide-ranging.
Lu denied that his proposal had anything direct connection to an individual case, and certainly not to the allegations against the president. He said the phrasing of the existing legislation left the judges too much leeway to interpret the law as they saw. The fact that different judges could reach widely different verdicts on the same issue would intimidate public officials and reduce their efficiency because they would be afraid of getting trapped in legal problems, Lu said.
Opposition Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Yu Mei-nu accused the KMT of revising the law as they saw pleased, having first added the concept of influence in order to convict Chen.
Some KMT lawmakers said the former president might become the major beneficiary of any amendments as proposed by Lu.
The Legislative Yuan’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee was discussing general corruption issues Wednesday, including the KMT lawmaker’s proposed amendment.


Updated : 2021-09-26 14:39 GMT+08:00