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MOJ contemplates call for immunity petition

MOJ contemplates call for immunity petition

The Ministry of Justice was still contemplating yesterday an instruction from Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) issued two days earlier to file a petition with the Council of Grand Justices for a constitutional interpretation aimed at reaffirming the president's immunity from prosecution.
"My colleagues in the ministry are continuing their research, " Minister of Justice Morley Shih said while answering press queries as to whether the ministry is an eligible petitioner and whether it will make the legal move. On Wednesday he had indicated that his ministry may only give legal advice to the Executive Yuan and let the latter decide whether to push forward the case.
Doubts were raised in an MOJ internal meeting Thursday over the ministry's eligibility for filing the petition, which concerns the "special state affairs fund" case in which President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is involved. The media reported that most officials attending the meeting opposed the idea of the MOJ filing the petition. Shih later denied the report.
Su said Wednesday that the prosecution's practice in probing the case was inconsistent with an MOJ internal resolution dating back to 1996 that says that as criminal investigations into the actions of an incumbent head of state are unable to proceed during his term in office, such cases should be shelved until the president leaves office. He therefore asked the ministry to petition for an interpretation of Article 52 of the Constitution - which stipulates criminal immunity for the president - in order to sort out contradictions in prosecutorial practices. The MOJ oversees general prosecutorial affairs.


Updated : 2021-05-07 01:26 GMT+08:00