Bill to abolish SID passes first reading

The Legislative Yuan passed the first reading of a draft law amendment Wednesday, paving the way for the abolition of the Special Investigation Division (SID) under the Supreme Prosecutors Office.

The Legislature's Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee initially passed the draft amendment to the Organic Act for Courts (?????) that removes the legal basis for the SID, which was established in 2007 to inspect allegations of corruption by senior government and military officials.

According to Article 63-1 of the existing Act, targets of SID investigations and prosecutions should include not only large-scale economic crimes or activities harmful to social order, but also corruption or negligence involving high-level public officials.

However, under the draft amendment, central and district prosecutors' offices will be allowed to enlist the help of professionals from other government departments to perform the SID's intended role and to inspect different projects.

If the bill clears the legislative floor, the SID is expected to be scrapped when the draft comes into effect Jan. 1, 2017.

Also Wednesday, SID spokesman Kuo Wen-tong (???) said that SID prosecutors will not slacken off from their duties until the actual disbanding of the SID.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel