Presidential Office demands retraction of report on planned execution

An online news outlet published the report Wednesday, in which it said Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san was called to the Presidential Office recently.

Taipei, July 4 (CNA)-The Presidential Office on Wednesdaydemanded the retraction of a report claiming the government islooking into the possibility of carrying out executions as away of boosting the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP)
chances of winning the local elections in November.

ETtoday, an online news outlet, published the report Wednesday, in which it said Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) was called to the Presidential Office recently for a discussion about the use of the death penalty amidst a spree of
serious crimes.

The discussion came to a tentative decision that Chiu would order an execution in November, before the local elections on Nov. 24, partly to preserve social order and partly to appease public anger over the delay in carrying out death sentences, the report said.

The report contained no named sources.

Asked to respond, the Presidential Office issued a statement saying that any suggestion President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) asked to meet Chiu to discuss the use of the death penalty was false.

The office said no such meeting had been held nor had the issue been discussed with Chiu and demanded the immediate retraction ofthe report.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Justice also issued a statement on the report which it said was a “serious error” and factually incorrect.

Taiwan observed a moratorium on the death penalty from 2006-2009. During former President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration, 33 death row inmates were executed from 2010-2016.

Since Tsai came to office in May 2016, no executions have been carried out. There are currently 43 convicts on death row in Taiwan.
(By Shih Hsiu-chuan)