Law revision eliminates statute of limitations on fatal crimes

Taipei, May 10 (CNA) The Legislative Yuan passed the third reading of a revision to the Criminal Code Friday, removing the 30 year statute of limitations on crimes when the victim dies.

According to the amendment, cases in which individuals die, where perpetrators are subject to a maximum punishment of capital punishment, life imprisonment or a jail term of more than 10 years, and which were previously subject to a mandatory 30 year statute of limitations, will now remain open in perpetuity if the perpetrator is identified but flees or is unknown.

The amendment is based on the example of Germany and Japan, where prosecution for criminals involved in crimes that “cause the death of their victims” is life long, the Executive Yuan and Judicial Yuan said in a proposal that recommended the revision.

Another amendment to the Criminal Code that passed its third reading at the Legislature increases the punishment for those who cause physical harm to or impair the health of others to a maximum sentence of five years or a maximum fine of NT$500,000 (US$12,820), from the original maximum jail term of three years or fine of up to NT$1,000.

Those convicted of negligent homicide can be given a sentence of up to five years or a fine of NT$500,000. Those who injure others can receive a sentence of up to one year or a fine up to NT$100,000, while individuals who unintentionally cause severe harm to others will be subject to a maximum sentence of three years or a fine no higher than NT$300,000.

(By Wang Yang-yu and Flor Wang)

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Source: CNA