The Supreme Court rendered the 107-Tai-Shang-Zi-3557 Criminal Decision of January 23, 2019 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that when the presiding judge has presented evidence in the court files by category to the parties so that the parties and their defenders may state their opinions, if the right of defense of the defendant and the defender is not affected, this is still a legally appropriate exercise of the presiding judge’s authority to guide litigation and cannot be accused of illegality for being viewed generally as packaged evidence presentation.
According to the facts underlying this Decision, the Appellants were found under the original decision to have jointly violated the Futures Trading Law and were subject to an imprisonment sentence for jointly committing the offense of illegally operating futures trading business with their proceeds of crime confiscated in accordance with Article 112, Paragraph 5, Subparagraph 3 of the Futures Trading Law. Some Appellants filed this appeal out of dissatisfaction with the original decision and alleged that the presiding judge in this case had failed to present all the pieces of evidence relied on for the court’s determination one by one on the trial date and to instruct the parties to state their opinions on relevant evidence in violation of Article 164, Paragraph 1, Article 165, Paragraph 1, and Article 288-1, Paragraph 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
According to the Decision, evidence such as transcripts, documents or physical evidence is presented or summarized as part of evidence investigation on a trial date seeks to allow the parties understand the location and contents of evidence contained in the court files. When the presiding judge presents the transcripts, physical evidence or documents contained in the court files by category to allow the parties and the defenders to state their opinions while balancing the right of the parties and the defenders to state their opinions on the evidence with the smooth progression of litigation, if the exercise of the right of defense by the defendant and his/her defenderis not affected, this is certainly an appropriate exercise of the presiding judge’s authority to guide the litigation and cannot be accused of illegality for being viewed generally as packaged evidence presentation.
It was further pointed out in this Decision that the original trial court presented evidence by category and by batch based on the nature of the evidence during the evidence investigation proceeding on the trial date and communicated the gist of the evidence so that the Appellant and his defendant in the original trial could state their opinions. This is an appropriate exercise of the presiding judge’s authority to guide the litigation. Now that the Appellant and his defender in the original trial neither raised their objection on the spot nor argued that they did not understand the gist of the above evidence or recognize the evidence since it was not presented, further engaged in substantive argument about the weight of the evidence, and participated in oral arguments, it should be concluded that the exercise of their right of defense or litigation defense right and the outcome of the decision were not impaired. Therefore, the investigation proceeding involving the investigation of the above evidence, the presentation of several pieces of evidence, or the communication of the gist of evidence by the origin trial court was recorded together out of convenience for the clerk’s transcript preparation. Since this could hardly be regarded as investigation of evidence by packaged presentation, the evidence investigation procedure implemented by the original trial court could hardly be accused of illegality on such basis, and it was concluded that Article 164, Paragraph 1, Article 165, Paragraph 1 and Article 288-1, Paragraph 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure were not violated.