Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-12-14 03:42 PM
Huang already faces a trial at the Taipei District Court over his alleged revelations of confidential details about an influence-peddling investigation into Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng to President Ma Ying-jeou. The August 31 meeting led to a high-profile power struggle in the ruling Kuomintang and to allegations of illegal wiretaps on the Legislative Yuan.
Apart from Huang, the MOJ committee has also investigated prosecutors accused of buckling under pressure from Wang and dropping an intention to appeal a not-guilty verdict for top opposition lawmaker Ker Chien-ming. The prosecutors deny the allegations, saying they based their decision on the merits of the case.
Huang denied having leaked any secrets, saying the results of the influence-peddling investigation were already clear by August 31, even though it was not officially completed until September 5.
The committee held several meetings and rounds of questioning over the past month, but a round of talks Saturday morning was the final meeting before the official announcements of the results. The committee decided that the MOJ should refer Huang to the Control Yuan, the nation’s top government watchdog, and recommend that the body should remove him from office. Huang serves a fixed four-year term which ends next year.
Two other prosecutors under review in the same case, Supreme Prosecutors Office Special Investigation Division chief Yang Jung-tsung and team member Cheng Shen-yuan, should also be sanctioned, the committee decided.
Chen Shou-huang and Lin Hsiu-tao, the prosecutors involved with the possibility of appeals against Ker, should receive warnings but no other sanctions, according to the committee.
The group’s decision poses a major setback for the top prosecutor, since until now he had managed to avoid sanctions beyond being indicted by the Taipei District Prosecutors Office.
The Control Yuan already tried to impeach Huang, but a tied five-against-five vote amounted to a decision not to do so. Despite public pressure, the Yuan did not reveal the names of the members who voted for or against Huang. A second attempt this week also failed because not enough Yuan members showed up to vote. Critics said some members feared that a vote against Huang would result in Ma not nominating them for a new term beginning next year.
The top prosecutor has said he would only resign if the Control Yuan impeached him or if the Taipei District Court found him guilty. The court case is still continuing, with Premier Jiang Yi-huah expected to testify on December 27.
The MOJ committee investigation could reach three possible verdicts, reports said. The committee could rule that no problem had occurred, it could decide the violations were only light and a prosecutorial disciplinary committee could take measures, or it could find enough reason to ask the Control Yuan to impeach those it found guilty of serious professional violations. In the end, the committee chose the most severe option, reports said.