Prosecutors to launch petition against lawmakers’ pressure


TAIPEI — Taiwan’s prosecutors will launch a petition today to protest what they see as attempts by some lawmakers to “manipulate and hijack” prosecutorial agencies by abusing their power to review budgets.

The Prosecutors Association, Republic of China (Taiwan) said in a statement that it opposed lawmakers’ calls for prosecutors to answer questions at the Legislature, criticizing such requests as unconstitutional.

Citing three constitution interpretations by the Constitutional Court, the association of active and retired prosecutors said lawmakers’ powers to investigate and question officials do not give them the right to interfere in ongoing individual cases.

Under the Constitution, prosecutors are protected from outside interference when exercising their duties, it said.

The statement came after Justice Minister Luo Ying-shay was criticized by lawmakers for defending two prosecutors who did not appear before the Legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee on Oct. 17.

The committee meeting was held to hear a report on an investigation into the wiretapping of one of the legislature’s main telephone lines.

In addition to calling the lawmakers’ demand for prosecutors to attend legislative hearings unconstitutional, the prosecutors association said it opposes any attempt by lawmakers to manipulate and hijack prosecutorial agencies and compromise the independence and impartiality of prosecutors.