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Amendments to Witness Protection Act, Criminal Code passed
Central News Agency
2014-05-30 11:16 PM
Taipei, May 30 (CNA) The Legislative Yuan passed an amendment to the Witness Protection Act Friday that provides incentives such as reduction of penalties or exemption from punishment, for suspects involved in criminal cases who become witnesses for the prosecution. The existing law stipulates that prosecutors can offer immunity and sentence bargaining to indicted defendants or criminal suspects in return for testimony against other criminal suspects. The new law stipulates that prosecutors can offer freedom from prosecution for defendants or criminal suspects who cooperate with the authorities, a move aimed at combating corruption and transnational organized crime. The Legislature also approved amendments to the Criminal Code that scraps the death penalty for the crime of attempted kidnapping that does not result in death. Under the existing rules, attempted kidnappers can face capital punishment, life imprisonment or a jail sentence of more than seven years, depending on the circumstances of their case, while attempted kidnap cases resulting in death can be sentenced to death, life imprisonment, or a jail sentence of more than 12 years. The amended Criminal Code also stipulates that criminal rings of three or more who use the names of government agencies and public servants to defraud members of the public can be given prison sentences between one and seven years and fines of less than NT$1 million (US$33,344). In addition, those who profiteer by hoarding grain crops, agricultural products, beverages, fertilizers and other agricultural and industrial necessities can be sentenced to less than three years in jail, detention or/and a fine of less than NT$300,000. (Tai Ya-chen, Lee Ming-chung, Wen Kuei-hsiang and Evelyn Kao)
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