Saturday, September 13, 2014

Taiwan opposition legislator faults military justice review commission

The China Post has this report on the work of the commission created in 2013 to look into miscarriages of justice under the hastily-repealed military justice system:
A special commission under the Cabinet that was launched last year to review possible miscarriages of justice under military courts recently shut down and has apparently failed to meet its founding goal, an opposition lawmaker said yesterday.
The commission was set up on Aug. 29, 2013 as part of government-initiated reforms to the military judicial system after public outcry following the suspicious death of Army Corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘) in July 2013.
The commission was supposed to review possible miscarriages of justice occurring at court-martials for the past two decades and possibly launch new probes into cold cases should the families of conscripts who were reported missing or dead during their service decide to do so.
The Executive Yuan announced late last month that the special commission had concluded its one-year mission and closed down on Aug. 28.
However, according to opposition Democratic Progressive Party Lawmaker Hsueh Ling (薛凌) the commission failed to meet its goal.
In a released statement, Hsueh said records show that the commission reviewed a total of 133 cases within the past year, but only four of these cases were later referred to the judicial authorities as candidates for a new round of investigation.
She added that 99 percent of all cases reported to the commission were rejected by commission members.
The legislator said the high rejection rate means the government was not genuinely looking to promote truth and justice on these cold cases in the military.
The cabinet previously noted that it has always said the special commission would only last for one year.
Also, with the passage of a court-martial law amendment last year that made civilian prosecutors and courts responsible for cases involving military servicemen during peacetime, retroactively applied to this case, there is little need for the commission to continue to operate.

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