Evidence for determining criminal facts means affirmative evidence sufficient to prove the an actor has indeed committed a crime (Taiwan)

Oli Wong

The Supreme Court rendered the 108-Tai-Shang-1904-Zi Decision of July 25, 2019 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that the evidence used to determine criminal facts under the Code of Criminal Procedure refers to affirmative evidence sufficient to prove that an actor indeed has engaged in a criminal act, and such evidence should apply to the determination of the criminal facts about the actor.

According to the facts underlying this Decision, neither Defendant A nor Defendant B is a qualified physician and should not practice medicine and should not apply to the National Health Insurance Bureau under the National Health Administration of the Executive Yuan (currently the National Health Insurance Administration under the Ministry of Health and Welfare; hereinafter, the “NHIA”) to claim medical reimbursements for illegal patient treatments.  Previously Defendant B acquired information about Physician D when he assisted Physician D, a friend of Defendant C, to handle the formalities for reporting physician support.  Defendant A was introduced to and became acquainted with Defendant C, a qualified physician and got to know Defendant B through the introduction of Defendant C.  The three individuals saw patients in a clinic by having Defendant B impersonate Physician D to report physician support.  Out of a joint criminal intent to practice medicine without legal physician’s qualifications, use false quasi-documents for business registration, use forged private quasi-documents and engage in monetary fraud , the three individuals reported that Physician D would support a clinic during June 30, 2014 through October 16 of 2014, and then Defendant B practiced medicine by using a computer to create medical records and issue certificates of diagnosis, and then through computer connections, the electromagnetic records of the false medical records were transmitted to the National Health Administration during June 30 through September 30 of 2014 to claim medical insurance reimbursements, resulting in NHIA’s mistake in reimbursing the medical cost out of the misbelief that the insured had always been treated by qualified physicians.

According to the Decision, the evidence for determining criminal facts under the Code of Criminal Procedure refers to affirmative evidence sufficient to prove that the Defendants have indeed engaged in criminal acts, and such evidence should be appropriate in determining the criminal facts about the Defendants.  If the facts determined in a criminal decision are not consistent with the cited evidence, this would constitute evidentiary conflicts, and the decision so rendered certainly violates laws and regulations.  Since the facts determined in the original decision appear to be inconsistent with the cited evidence, there is a mistake due to evidentiary conflicts.  The original trial court is hardly convincing when making a straightforward determination unfavorable to the three Defendants.

In addition, as pointed out in this Decision, the reasons specified in a guilty or non-guilty decision should be consistent with consistent value judgment on the same evidentiary materials.  Otherwise, this would constitute a legal violation for contradictory reasons of decision and thus the ground for reversing the decision.   It seems that the original decision held that the death of the victim is linked to the first aid measure taken by Defendant C.  However, in the reason section of the original decision, it was indicated that the victim’s death is “primarily” caused directly by Defendant A’s injection of Propofol and has “nothing” to do with the above first aid measure, while the instruction that Defendant C was not guilty, which was not separately given, seems to have a different value judgment on the same evidentiary materials.  Therefore, the original decision is certainly inappropriate.  Since the original decision violates laws and regulations in this regard and affects the determination of facts, it should be concluded that there are grounds for reversing and remanding the above portion of the original decision.