The Supreme Court rendered the 103-Tai-Shang-3118 Criminal Decision of September 4, 2014 (hereinafter, the "Decision"), criticizing and reversing the decision of the original trial court for its violation of laws and regulations. The legal opinions for reversing the original decision are provided as follows. Article 287-2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides: "If the court examines a co-defendant on a case that the defendant is being charged, the co-defendant shall be subject mutatis mutandis to the provision governing the examination of a witness." This requirement is derived from the fact that co-defendants in a criminal trial are charged together or additionally by a prosecutor or private prosecutor or tried by a court together for the sake of litigation economy. The criminal facts of the individual defendants still exist independently. Therefore, a co-defendant is a third party other than the defendant in the case in which another co-defendant is charged and is by nature a witness. To ensure the defendant's right to examine the witness, such co-defendant should be treated as a witness who should provide a sworn testimony and be examined by the defendant in person or his/her attorney so that the defendant has a chance to identify, through examination, flaws in the current and prior statements of such co-defendant who is treated as an appropriate witness. It is only when a court has implemented this procedure that the statement of a co-defendant can be relied on as a basis for concluding the criminal facts about the defendant. This is also clearly elucidated in the gist of Judicial Interpretation No.582.
Therefore, it is further concluded in this Decision that a co-defendant's statements in the first instance trial or the previous instance trial of the original trial were relied on as the basis for concluding the offense of the appellant in the original decision. However, the attorney retained by the appellant in the original trial challenged, during the preparation proceeding on July 1, 2013 and during the court hearing on July 16 of the same year, that the co-defendant's statements in the first instance trial and the trial prior to the original trial were not examined by the appellant and his attorney and contended that they shall not be admitted as evidence to substantiate any offense, given the fact that he never indicated that he gave up the right to examine such co-defendant. The original trial court still failed to allowed the co-defendant to provide a sworn testimony as a witness and to be examined by the appellant or his attorney pursuant to law according to the witnesses examination procedure and elected to conclude offenses based on an unsworn testimony which did not go through examination. Since the evidence investigation procedure is not lawful, the decision of the original trial court was reversed.