Huang should step
down: Taiwan Bar Association
By Lin Chun-hung, Lee Hsin-fang, Mo Yan-chih and Jake Chung /
Staff reporters, with staff writer
Taiwan Bar Association chairman
Lin Kuo-ming, center, and Wellington Koo, chairman of the association’s
Constitutional Reform Research Committee, left, listen as association
secretary-general Wu Yu-hsueh speaks at a press conference in Taipei yesterday.
Following the Taipei District Prosecutors’
Office’s decision to indict Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) on Friday
on charges of leaking classified information, the Taiwan Bar Association and
other prosecutors yesterday called on Huang to step down immediately.
Huang was accused of violating the Criminal Code and the Communication Security
and Surveillance Act (通訊保障及監察法) when he met with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on
Aug. 31 and the next day to present the president with information on a case of
alleged improper lobbying involving Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) that
led to what was called the “September strife” between Ma and Wang.
The association said in a press release that it felt that Huang was “no longer
fit to be prosecutor-general after violating the confidentiality of an ongoing
investigation and interfering with the independence of the judiciary.”
Among the 39 members of the 46-seat board of directors and supervisors, 21
supported issuing the statement to express the association’s stance on Huang’s
case, association chairman Lin Kuo-ming (林國明) said. As the nation’s top
prosecutor, Huang supervises all the nation’s prosecutors, including the Special
Investigation Division (SID), Lin said.
“Can prosecutors bring charges against Huang without fear if Huang, as a
defendant, appears in court in the capacity of prosecutor-general? This is what
worries us,” Lin said.
Other prosecutors had also left posts on an online site for prosecutors, with
one saying: “How can prosecutors not be angry when the president blatantly taps
the secret-spilling SID [for information]? The SID should be abolished.”
Others said that they were sad to see that the SID, a brainchild of prosecutors
originally conceived to combat illegal activities of high-ranked government
officials, had instead become a tool for the president to fight his political
battles, adding that if the prosecutor-general has to report to the president,
the SID should be abolished.
“If [Huang] took the transcription of a witness of an ongoing criminal
investigation and surveillance data to the president before the case was closed,
would that not constitute a breach of investigation confidentiality? Does that
not count as disclosing secrets? If the entire case was under investigation as
an administrative case, why were methods reserved for criminal investigations
only used?” one wrote.
The post refers to the SID’s recommendation that the improper influence case
should be treated as an administrative case when it had closed the
Former Democratic Progressive Party chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said the
Ministry of Justice should be fully aware of how severe the incident was, adding
that the credibility of the judiciary and the public’s trust in it hinged on the
case. The ministry should suspend Huang until the court reaches a verdict, Tsai
Separately, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday said the
prosecutor-general should have the wisdom to take responsibility for his
However, former Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Lo Chih-chiang
(羅智強) defended Huang as a dedicated prosecutor with a sense of justice. On his
Facebook page, Lo shared an article written by Huang’s deceased daughter Huang
Yi-chun (黃宜君). In the article titled “My father’s business card,” she described
her father as a hard-working man with integrity, and said fighting injustice has
been his top priority.
Lo posted a fable about a monk who journeyed in search of a magic sword to kill
an evil spirit for a small town. The monk found the sword and returned to the
town, only to be tied up and burned to death because he stepped into the town
gate with the wrong foot.
“[The monk] has defended justice all his life, but ended up being brought to an
open trial and being indicted. It’s one of the most ridiculous things in the
world,” he wrote.