The Supreme Court rendered the 103-Tai-Shang-2672 Criminal Decision of August 7, 2014 (hereinafter, the "Decision"), holding that in case of a hearsay testimony or any hearsay of hearsay, such testimony will become admissible evidence under exceptional and specific circumstances if the individual making the original statement cannot be present in court to make a statement and be examined while the hearsay witness has signed the affidavit as a witness.
According to the facts underlying the Decision, Individual A prepared and purchased iron wires and blue tapes and tied the hands and feet of Individual B, who was buried alive in a hole dug by Individual A in a certain place, causing Individual B to be suffocated to death. In this Decision, it was first pointed out that hearsay evidence refers to the circumstance where an actually experienced fact which serves as a fact-finding basis is not reported directly to the court by the individual experiencing such fact but is reported to the court indirectly by other means. An oral or written statement made by individuals who are not defendants on the fact that they personally perceive or experience outside of the trial is a "hearsay testimony in a narrow sense" and shall not be admitted as evidence except as otherwise stipulated by law.
However, in case of a "hearsay witness" who hears outside of the trial the statement of an individual who has actual experience, what is the weight of such evidence if the individual making the original statement fails to appear in court to make a statement pursuant to the witness investigation procedure and be examined by the parties? According to the Decision, although the law is silent in this regard, still if the individual making the original statement objectively cannot appear in court to make a statement and be examined since he or she has deceased, lost long-term memory or stranded in a foreign country while a "hearsay witness" who has appeared in court has signed an affidavit pursuant to the witness investigation procedure and has satisfied strict criteria such as special credibility and essentiality indispensable for substantiating criminal facts, the such evidence may be admissible on exceptional circumstances in order to discover facts. In this matter, although Individual C, a witness in this matter, is not the police officer who received the case report and only learned indirectly about the report and details of the report and is thus a hearsay witness, still this matter broke out a long time ago with relevant materials no longer available and unknown whereabouts of the individuals making the original statement who objectively cannot appear in court to make a statement and be examined, the testimony of Individual C should be admissible evidence since he has signed an affidavit pursuant to law and is credible.