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The Changhua District Court ruled the Ting Hsin Group not guilty of breaching the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation on November 27. The Chief Prosecutor of Changhua District Court Huang Zhi-yong condemned the judge for taking the defendant’s side and said, “The problem with the ruling is not the prosecution didn’t provide sufficient evidence. It’s the problem with the judge."

Liberty Times reports, the prosecution witnesses include Sun Lu-xi, professor of Food Science and Technology Research Institute under National Taiwan University (NTU), Chen Bing-hui, professor of Department of Food Science under Fu-jen University (FJU), director of department of food safety of I-Mei Foods Co., and officials from the Ministry of Health and Welfare. They were all against adding raw materials with unknown sources to food processing procedures. Huang believes the judge did not consider the witnesses’ sayings, which shows the judge had already ruled Tin Hsin Group to be innocent in his mind.

The prosecutor points out that according to the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation, the food manufacturers should label the source of its materials, yet the court legalized the food processing procedures because the products meet the safety standards. The prosecutor believes the judge clearly violated the purpose of the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation.

Deputy Chief Prosecutor Lin Han-qiang admits that Taiwan and Vietnam have no diplomatic relations so the five prosecutors only arrived in Vietnam at the end of this April. By then, much evidence had already been tampered with. But Lin also emphasizes that the prosecutors didn’t return empty-handed.

With the help of the local police and judicial officials, the investigators obtained testimonies from local employees of the authentic surveyor, Vinacontrol co., and also found the import documents they provided at customs to be fraud. Plus, the receipts provided by the defendants at the trial were also declared forged.

Apple Daily reports, the spokesperson of the Changhua District Court, Wang Yi-min, says that in response to the prosecution’s comments, the verdict already gives an explanation and the district court will respect the ruling.

“The court knows what the public expected, so we made the verdict based on both procedural and substantive justice at the trial. However, the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation is not perfect and the prosecutors did not provide sufficient evidence; based on presumption of innocence, an universal value of human rights, we can not rule the defendant as guilty."

Translated by June
Edited by Olivia Yang