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Home Editorials of Interest Articles of Interest Law journal editor Huang Yueh-hong says Chen case is political prosecution (Photos)

Law journal editor Huang Yueh-hong says Chen case is political prosecution (Photos)

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Huang Yueh-hong says Chen Shui-bian case was mishandled by the ROC courts

A small but influential bi-weekly newspaper, Rule of Law Times, specializes in news of the courts. The newspaper’s primary readers are judges and lawyers. Editor Huang Yueh-hong is an authority on judicial misbehavior and tells it as he sees it. Huang granted an exclusive interview in New Taipei City to discuss the trial of Chen Shui-bian. The imprisoned former president of the Republic of China in-exile is serving a lengthy sentence for alleged corruption.

Huang got right to the point: “President Chen did not receive a fair trial. The trial was a dirty trial. From the very beginning, at the trial court level, they changed the judge, just because the first judge put Chen Shui-bian on bail. So they changed the judge. That is ridiculous. And after that, they punished the judge.”

View slideshow: Huang Yueh-hong

“The new judge put Chen Shui-bian in jail again without bail,” said Huang. “They [prosecutors] wanted to control the case. The judge would not take instructions so the prosecutors arranged the appointment of the overseeing judge. So President Chen went back to jail, no bail. That is a crime.”

Huang explained: “In Taiwan, the judges separate very clearly into two parts. Some are very loyal to the KMT and some are not loyal to the Kuomintang Party, they have a deeper loyalty to the law.”

Huang emphasized a problem: “There are no juries. People have found out in this case that no juries is very intolerable. We wish we could have a jury system in Taiwan. But Ma Ying-jeou does not want to change.”

“The Kuomintang judges are very loyal [to the party]. Ma Ying-jeou’s trial as mayor, people say that decision was not written like a judge, but like a lawyer. It had all the reasons Ma Ying-jeou’s lawyer said he should be not guilty.”

“So the first local judge was changed and punished. The new judge said Chen Shui-bian should be put in jail again,” said Huang. More procedural irregularities followed.

“The Supreme Court said they would make the decision in this one case themselves. Most cases get returned to the High Court for a new decision.” Huang said, ‘In Chen Shui-bian’s case they didn’t review a decision, they made their own decision.”

“They do things under the table very easily. When people asked for bail for Chen Shui-bian when he was very sick the Ministry of Justice responded in the news. When I went to the Ministry of Justice for answers about Chen, every answer is what Ma Ying-jeou says. If the judge or prosecutor belongs to the Kuomintang they will know to obey or get cancelled promotions or some reduced benefit, or sent to the countryside,” explained Huang.

“There are many, many ways to control the trial, the case.”

Huang declared: “The Taiwanese judicial system is not a good one. People are not very satisfied and keep asking the government for responsibility as to the law. But they want to continue control.

Commenting on Chen’s midnight trial proceedings, Huang was sharply critical. “The night court sessions are ridiculous. They don’t want anyone to see what is happening.”

Huang is seemingly resigned to Kuomintang control of the courts: “There is no way to improve the justice system. They have the media, they have the power, they have the government, they have everything. So, no way. Many judges know the courts, the government is not right but they fail so say this is wrong. Everybody keeps their mouth shut. The courts are getting worse.”

“During martial law every court obeyed the government, the Kuomintang. After martial law ended the younger judges or prosecutors don’t have to obey the Kuomintang, but they don’t respect the law also. The government pays the judges and prosecutors very good salary and very good benefits but they don’t respect the law, there is still political control.”

“The biased media will make some scapegoat instead of fixing the problem,” said Huang. “If you don’t say what they want they will put some scandal on you or make lies. People do not speak out because they do not want trouble.”

“The prosecutors and judges who don’t respect the law always bully the people, even despite the evidence…Fifty years they do it this way, however they want. You can’t imagine this, but here the people accept this because they do it. For fifty years, for sixty years. Here, if you can pay money to a judge or prosecutor your case will be taken care of.”

“About every two years we have a scandal involving a judge or prosecutor. It is very common. Here, people can buy justice,” said Huang.

However, in Chen Shui-bian’s case justice was not to be had at any price: “In order to be guilty of corruption there must be something within your power to effect. However, they say if you have influence on a case that is corruption. If you can influence a person you are guilty. This is being manipulated because the definition is only half-true. It is very difficult to get clear of an influence charge. In Chen Shui-bian’s case they take this position.”

Editor Huang is convinced that politics, not the law, governed the trial of Chen Shui-bian. “The Supreme Court made their own decision on this case. This almost never happens. One or two cases out of every ten thousand they will do this. Very unusual.”

“How it works is they tell the judge what to do, how to write it is the judge’s problem. That is our courts.”

Source: Michael Richardson - Boston Progressive Examiner

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