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Home Editorials of Interest Articles of Interest Former President Chen Shui-bian’s Plea of Not Guilty Outside the Court

Former President Chen Shui-bian’s Plea of Not Guilty Outside the Court

Abstract 

On September 11, 2009, the Court of Judge Tsai Shou-hsun will give its verdict in the case of Taiwan versus Chen Shui-bian as regards charges of corruption, money-laundering, and misuse of state funds. 

When that verdict is given, the media and the public will be presented with simply that, a resulting verdict; they will not see the reasons, methods and machinations, proper or improper, by which the prosecutors and judge worked to achieve that end, nor will they see the defendant’s side of the story. 

In this particular case, the very manner, bias and selective prosecution by which it has been instigated, pursued and handled have demonstrated that it is more a case of political persecution and vendetta with a predetermined result in mind than one involving the pursuit of justice and truth.  

It is for that reason and with anticipation of a predetermined verdict of guilty (which will then be appealed) that former President Chen Shui-bian has chosen not to initially present an elaborate defense. At the same time, however, he also feels obligated to present his side of the case for the media and the people to see so that they will all the better be able to follow it in the appeal.  

In Taiwan, the laws and regulations governing such matters as the presidential state affairs funds, the gathering and use of campaign donations, and political special allowances have always been vague and gray. They are inherited from the martial law, non-transparent, one-party state days of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) where their vagueness and ambiguity were purposely designed to allow the ruling class maximum flexibility in manipulating monies and property for their profit and benefit. 

It has only with the first democratic selection of the President by direct vote of the people (1996) and the presidency of Chen Shui-bian (2000-2008) that the rules and laws have begun to be more transparent and focused. Even with that, they still remain more like guidelines with gray areas open to interpretation. Chen’s defense will focus on these areas. As President he spent more money of the state affairs fund than he requested therefore it would be impossible to pocket it. On money sent overseas, it is admitted that family members transferred large amounts. Culturally Chen should have controlled this, but the court has yet to produce legal evidence that personally links Chen to this. Further given the vague and flexible laws on political donations such amounts are not unusual. Finally, the court has consistently used indictments to fish for evidence, applied a double standard and selective process in prosecution and abused its powers repeatedly in the detention and interrogation of Chen and co-defendants. 

We (Chen Shui-bian’s defense team) firmly believe that: 

  1. Concerning the state affairs fund: The total amount of the expenditures that former President Chen had spent for official purposes far exceeded the original amount allotted to expenses from that designated fund. Each of these expenses and its purpose has been recorded. Since Chen had to get extra money from elsewhere to cover those expenses, it would be impossible for him to pocket money from the already depleted fund. Though questions could be raised about Chen’s accessing other sources to cover additional expenses, to charge Chen with corruption for his own benefit is nonsensical. Nevertheless the court has tried to label Chen as corrupt as regards the state affairs fund.
  2. Concerning the Longtan Science Park Land Deal case: All witnesses have testified that former President Chen had absolutely no idea that any transference of money had taken place with regard to the Longtan Science Park land deal. However, without any concrete evidence, the court is relying on mere speculation to conclude that Chen had received bribes. It is true that former First Lady Wu Shu-jen had received one involved corporation’s political donation, but this has not been a quid pro quo donation. The laws of Taiwan on political donations are even more vague than those of the United States. In the United States for example, a person making large political donations can be rewarded with the position of ambassador to a desired and favorable country. Here, the court is speculating by circumstantial relationships that because one of the involved corporations made a separate political donation, it was, contrary to the testimony of witnesses, a bribe and that Chen accepted it as such.
  3. Concerning the money laundering case: None of the accounts in this case belonged to former President Chen, nor had he been a beneficiary of any of these accounts. There is no evidence whatsoever sufficient to prove that Chen had known, participated in, or handled any act of money laundering. Again the court is proceeding by circumstantial speculation. Money was transferred, but Taiwan’s loose laws dating back to the one-party state, martial law days of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) amply allow that large amounts of campaign funds can be transferred. This does not constitute money laundering. To selectively accuse Chen of such leads to the remaining three points. 
  4. Former President Chen’s collection, management, and employment of political donations, as well as his control of his family members, are indeed controversial. Chen should shoulder relevant political and moral responsibilities; culturally he is guilty of not controlling his family. However, cultural guilt is not the same as legal guilt. To receive political donations is not equivalent to receiving bribes nor does it make one automatically corrupt. If it did, most every politician in Taiwan could be labeled corrupt. From the legal perspective which should be the perspective of the court, Chen is not guilty.
  5. During the investigative process and court proceedings of Chen’s case, numerous actions have taken place that are or border on being illegal and unconstitutional. Similarly flagrant abuses of power have been exercised to pillory and try to make a scapegoat of former President Chen. For example, President Ma Ying-jeou held a meeting in the Office of the President to give instructions to detain the former president; the Special Investigation Panel resorted to unconstitutional means like incommunicado detention, intimidation, and/or luring other interrogated detainees with gains in order to obtain useful testimonies or to force them to confess crimes they had not committed. The Taipei District Court openly violated the principle of “random assignment of cases” by illegally and unconstitutionally replacing the judge, to whom Chen’s case had originally been assigned to by lot, with one particular judge favorable to the current government. That judge has since then been allowed to handle merged cases of Chen. All of these are evidence that the related judicial proceedings of Chen’s case have their own taint of corruption and have just been a cover for the authorities to launch political attacks and persecutions on Chen in the name of “fighting corruption.”   
  6. Finally, it is the belief of President Chen’s defense team that the assignment of Chen’s case to Judge Tsai Shou-hsun’s panel, if not illegal, certainly borders on illegality and is prejudiced. Moreover, Judge Tsai’s three-judge panel has repeatedly made rulings that violated the law; it has abused and continued to abuse its power by using reasons unsanctioned by the law to continue the detention of the former president. Therefore, we do not recognize that Judge Tsai’s panel is legitimate nor can it be fair-minded in the due process of law. For this reason and the others stated above, we refuse to conduct debates in that court. Instead, we have chosen to defend former President Chen outside the court and before the people of this country. We have consistently made and now make the plea of not guilty for former President Chen. A more detailed defense and explanation follows.

Foreword

Chen shui-bian, the former president is one who has labored tirelessly for Taiwan; his presidency has certainly symbolized that the Taiwanese people can be masters of their own country. It is for that reason that the man who was once an emblem of and a spokesman for a Taiwan-centric consciousness, has in the mere span of 15 months’ time, from May 20, 2008 to the present, fallen from grace. He is now a suspect charged with the ugly crime of corruption, and has been detained for almost nine months. His legacy of the democratic progress, economic development, and strengthening people’s consciousness of the nation’s sovereignty achieved during his eight-year presidency has suffered a blow. The charge of corruption laid on him has also been a blow to each and every Taiwanese person who had worked so hard with him.

    But what is the truth of the Chen case? While the judiciary has gone out of its way to target him, and the media, bent on sensationalism, continue to distort the case, the Taiwanese people have not had a chance to fully know all that this former president had done during his eight years in office. What is behind this distorted treatment? With the verdict in the first instance scheduled to be passed down on September 11, we feel obligated to provide a comprehensive explanation of the Chen case, so that all citizens may know the truth behind this so called judicial case.

    The state affairs fund is similar in nature to the special allowances fund provided for administrative heads of government. The regulations governing both are loose and resemble guidelines more than strict laws. The application and reimbursement procedures of the state affairs fund have always been conducted in accordance with established practices. No one, from former President Chen and his aides to accountants in the Accounting Department of the Office of the President, has had any intention to commit crimes or corruption or to take money for their own pockets. They simply had inherited imperfect application and reimbursement procedures, which were the established practice left by the previous governments. This imperfect procedure can and should be reformed, but no one should be selectively charged with corruption simply because he or she had followed the previous governments’ practice.  

President Chen had, on his own initiative, cut his monthly salary by half, which means that his annual income was reduced by NT$5 million per year resulting in a reduction of his salaries by NT$40 million over his eight-year presidency. He had also, on his own discretion, terminated the Fongtian project and the Dangyang project, two secret National Security Bureau funds totaling NT$3.6 billion that used to be called “the President’s private money.” Moreover, he had donated all of his presidential election subsidies of more than NT$340 million. How then could such a president have any motive for embezzling a paltry NT$104 million from the state affairs fund? Further, in that fund, Chen has listed all fund expenses to prove that the total amount of expenditures from that fund had far exceeded the original amount allotted to it. For that reason, the accusation in the bill of indictment that “[Chen] had raised funds from other sources to pay for the expenses he listed, but he still put the state affairs fund into his private pocket” is more than absurd!

    The Longtan Science Park land deal was part of the “Two Trillion, Twin Star” plan. This plan highlighted the Chen government’s flagship economic achievement which had focused on the semiconductor and flat panel display industries. The only role that Chen had played in this was his intent “to retain industries in Taiwan and to work hard for the economy.” If he had profited any, it would be in the development of Taiwan’s high technology industries, for this sector had benefited most from the economic plan. But the Special Investigation Panel (SIP) had gone so far as to use the testimony of Jeffery Koo Jr., a man who profited by the sale of a plot of land in Longtan, to distort this case into one of corruption. Koo, a man still on the wanted list, had returned to Taiwan to be a witness to this case under the questionable terms of benefit exchange with prosecutors on the panel. Till today the SIP still cannot find and list any specific amounts of the so-called “bribes” or “brokerage fees” in this case. How much profit did Koo himself make from this land deal? Having been unable to clarify these points, the panel has been bent on implicating Chen, who had never known that there were other so-called transactions regarding this land deal being carried out behind the scenes of the Longtan development project. Has the SIP really cared about the truth? Or does the panel think that it has “completed its mission” once it has “incriminated former President Chen?”

    The large amounts of the deposits in Chen’s family members’ overseas accounts have certainly shocked Taiwan’s society. Members of the public have been astonished at the savings equivalent to millions of NT dollars in these accounts. Such numbers are rather incongruous with the common impression of Chen’s simple and frugal lifestyle. While these numbers are large, one has to remember that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has neither party assets nor party-run enterprises, and so all DPP politicians must rely almost entirely on political donations to have sufficient financial strength to run elections. As the President and/or the DPP chairman, Chen had been one major subject to whom political donations were contributed. With expenses in one presidential election reaching as high as billions of NT dollars, therefore, it is not unimaginable that there can be unused campaign funds or political donations from one such election reaching as high as hundreds of millions of NT dollars. These funds or donations should not and cannot be viewed as illegal gains simply because of their huge numbers.

  Nevertheless, the Taiwanese people cannot put behind them the obvious fact that Chen’s family members had remitted huge amounts of money abroad. Thus, the former president has repeatedly apologized in public for failing to govern his family members’ behavior and has said that they are willing to transfer all the deposits back to Taiwan for appropriate donations. To remit such large amounts abroad does breach the public trust, but the mere transference of such overseas deposits does not constitute “corrupt gains.” The reality is that political donations to all parties are a secret that all Taiwanese politicians have kept and are unwilling to disclose. Such donations are also a reality in party politics in any country as capitalism develops.

  A related but different shocking reality, which may help Taiwanese and media gain perspective is to realize how Chen’s and the DPP’s figures pale in comparison to the totally disproportionate size and power of assets possessed by the KMT versus Taiwan’s other political parties. In answer to a voluntary questionnaire put out in 2007 by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) the KMT admitted to assets of US$769.7 million, the DPP had US$7.68 million, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) had US$440 thousands and the People’s First Party claimed a debt of US$4 million. In essence the political playing field in Taiwan is not level to the extent that the KMT had 100 times greater assets than the DPP and all other parties. One can only guess how this translates into political donations. 

It would be truly beneficial in the development of Taiwan’s democracy that the country should make comprehensive and pragmatic regulations on the management of political donations. It is time for all politicians to not cover up the fact that these contributions do exist. What has been worse however is the double standard that the judiciary has used in handling this problem. While looking idly at the KMT’s possession of ill-gotten party assets worth tens of billions of NT dollars, as well as the consistent pocketing of political donations in all political parties, it has detained former President Chen on the same grounds. The KMT has always enjoyed the advantages of an unlevel playing field in assets and political donations in Taiwan politics.

    Chen’s case is not a legal but a political one. The judiciary has been on a political witch-hunt in the name of prosecuting corruption. It has used a double standard and selective prosecution to pursue a man whose main fault is that he represents the Taiwanese identity to the world. Truth is not being pursued in this case; nor is sincere political reform. Taiwan deserves better.

Detailed Explanation:

I. Former President Chen has been indicted on three main points: that of misuse of the state affairs fund, illegal involvement in the Longtan Science Park land deal, and money laundering. Despite the indictments, he remains not guilty of corruption or embezzlement in any of these three cases. The truths concerning the three cases are as follows:

  1. The case of the state affairs fund:

The case of former President Chen’s use of the state affairs fund is not a legal matter, but a problem of selective misinterpretation. It is impossible to lay such a serious criminal charge of corruption against Chen over his employment of the state affairs fund for the following reasons:

1. During Chen’s presidency, the entire state affairs fund had been expended for official purposes and so used up. The total amount of the expenditures for official purposes has exceeded that of the fund. The procedures to apply for the state affairs fund had been conducted entirely in accordance with the established practice. Chen never had any intention to commit corruption or embezzlement in using the fund nor did he.  

The former president specifically listed 15 expenses for official purposes during his presidency totaling NT$127,162,116; the allotted amount of the state affairs fund was NT$104,152,395. These expenses are catalogued in the chart below:

 
  Purposes Amounts in NT$
1 C case, which is also F case (8 phases) 35,000,000
2 W case (US$200,000)   6,578,650
3 L case (US$100,000) + F and J cases (US$20,000)   3,756,600
4 S case   2,000,000
5 UN case   2,500,000
6 J case 10,000,000
7 Travel allowances for confidential diplomatic work   1,519,322
8 M case + expenses for food, accommodation, etc. 1,908,906
9 Donation to Shih Ming-teh 4,500,000
10 Repairs to a mosque 1,400,000
11 Donation to the rally with the theme, “For National Referendum and the Birth of a New Constitution,” held in Kaohsiung on October 25, 2003     10,000,000
12 Donation to the rally with the theme, “Democracy and Peace to Protect Taiwan,” held in Taipei on March 26, 2005     20,000,000
13 A money reward for former Premier Chang Chun-hsiung 2,000,000
14 Donation to Yeh Chu-lan for her to give it to a certain foundation 5,000,000
15 Donation to the Chinese Cultural Renaissance Movement Promotion Committee     20,998,638

2. The nature of the state affairs fund is similar to that of the special allowances for administrative heads of government. District courts and the High Court both approved that, concerning the state affairs fund, as well as the special allowances for administrative heads of government, “the procedure of reimbursement is completed by virtue of producing withdrawal slips and of the withdrawals of the corresponding amounts of money.” In other words, by virtue of presenting withdrawal slips and the withdrawals of the corresponding amounts of money, administrative heads of government would have completed the procedure of reimbursement and from then on would have been able to employ the money at their discretion; therefore, any alleged corruption or embezzlement could not have possibly existed with this procedure in place. In their written letters replying to inquiries regarding the proper way of using the state affairs fund, three administrative offices, the Directorate-General of Budgets, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) of the Executive Yuan, the Office of the President, and the Ministry of Audit, have all confirmed that the fund has the same attributes as that of the special allowances for administrative heads of government in that their procedures of reimbursement are both completed by virtue of presenting withdrawal slips and of the withdrawals of the corresponding amounts of money. Former directors-general of DGBAS Chang Che-shen and Hsu Chang-yao also bore witness to the fact that the withdrawal slips themselves remain the original proofs of expenditures, and that it is unnecessary to provide other evidence of the details of the expenses.

3. Former President Chen’s aides, including his office directors Ma Yung-cheng and Lin Te-hsun and treasurer Chen Chien-hwei, down to staff in the Accounting Department of the Office of the President, had all conducted the reimbursement procedure in accordance with this established practice of handling the state affairs fund. None of them had had any intention to commit the alleged acts of corruption or embezzlement, nor had anyone of them put the money into their own pockets. However, prosecutors had indicted Chen’s former aides on grounds of corruption or embezzlement one after another. The prosecutors distorted the truth in order to accuse the innocent of crimes that they had never committed.

4. The testimonies of Fon Shui-lin, former director-general of the Accounting Department of the Office of the President, and the department’s section chief Liang En-tzu and accountants Chiu Chiung-hsien and Lan Mei-ling, who had handled the state affairs fund during Chen’s presidency, all affirmed that, in practice, the fund does have the attributes of special allowances, and that it is established practice that the fund is reimbursed directly by virtue of producing withdrawal slips.

5. The reimbursement procedures of the state affairs fund has been established practice followed by all former presidents. When former President Lee Teng-hui used this fund, it was also reimbursed directly by virtue of presenting withdrawal slips. Lee and his office director Su Chih-cheng have testified that it was so. During Lee’s presidency, his household expenses, such as the bills for water and electricity in his residence in Dashi and for other miscellaneous items, and even his wife’s expenditures in playing golf, hosting banquets for guests, and buying gifts, were all reimbursed by the state affairs fund. There has been no record at all of how Lee expended the so called confidential fund in the state affairs fund, and he was never required to provide any details of how he spent the confidential fund. Former President Chen had employed the fund in exactly the same way that Lee used it, but the Special Investigation Panel prosecutors has only indicted Chen of misusing the fund. It is more than obvious that the prosecutors had attempted to lay criminal charges against Chen all the way.  

6. After 2003, an additional distinction was made. The collection of other people’s receipts, as well as the production of roll lists of given rewards, had been carried out in compliance with the Notes on the Reimbursement Procedure of the State Affairs Fund of the Office of the President, which came into effect on March 6, 2003. The Notes regulated that any of the unused confidential fund in the state affairs fund cannot be employed for other purposes, and that reimbursement from the unused confidential fund can only be conducted in ways that the Accounting Department had approved. The question of whether the legal norm of the Notes is high enough to regulate the President’s right to employ the state affairs fund remains to be investigated, but even if such reimbursement from the state affairs fund, under the regulation of the Notes, is considered flawed in its administrative procedures, those involved in the fund had never had any intention to commit corruption or embezzlement, nor had any such acts ever been committed.  

7. If compared with former Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou’s special allowance case, a criminal case of Chen’s employment of the state affairs fund cannot possibly be established. In Ma’s special allowance case, the reimbursement procedure was considered as completed both by virtue of producing withdrawal slips and of the withdrawals of the corresponding amounts of money. Ma’s donation of the special allowance that he had put into his private pocket after reports on his use of the fund went out had been explained away by the so-called “big reservoir theory,” one key concept of which is that “notes of the same value were exchangeable.” Based on that theory, Ma’s “total withdrawals from his special allowance were more than the original amount of the fund,” so the court found him not guilty. It has been proved that Chen’s state affairs fund had similarly been entirely expended for official purposes and that the expenditures had far exceeded the fund, which had also been reimbursed directly by virtue of presenting withdrawal slips. How, then could Chen be found guilty and Ma not?

B. The Longtan Science Park Land Deal case:

1. Testimonies of all witnesses have stated that Chen had never been illegally involved in the Longtan Science Park land deal. Since the trial of this land deal case began, no witness or evidence had been found that could prove that the former president had had any illegal dealings in the case. Instead, the eight key co-defendants and witnesses in this case, including Barry Lam, the businessman who purchased the land, Leslie Koo, the entrepreneur who sold the land, Jeffery Koo Jr., the agents Tsai Ming-chieh and Tsai Ming-che, the former minister of the National Science Council Wei Che-ho, the former director-general of Hsinchu Science Park Administration James Lee, and the former first lady Wu Shu-jen, had all pledged and testified in court 1) that the former president had never been illegally involved in the land deal, 2) that Chen had never ordered any of them to lobby for the deal or to get involved in the dealings, and 3) that Chen had never received any kickbacks in the deal. However, the prosecution had been bent on using James Lee, who did receive kickbacks, as the so-called key witness in an attempt to associate him with the former president, and so make the latter an accomplice. When interrogating and investigating Lee, the prosecution had in various ways threatened, coerced, lured, and promised to exchange something with Lee, in order to make Lee cooperate with them during their questioning and provide testimonies that would implicate Chen in the case. When Lee testified once again in an open court proceeding that the former president had never been illegally involved in the land deal, the prosecutors had threatened to press for a heavy sentence on him. This shows that though the prosecutors knew very well that Chen had not been illegally involved in the land deal, they nevertheless had continued to try every possible means to implicate him in the case.

2. The Longtan Science Park land deal was part of the government’s “Two Trillion, Twin Star” plan, which was a major national project. The role that former President Chen had played in the project was to retain industries in Taiwan and to boost the economy instead of to give profits to the companies. The truth of the deal is as follows:

a. Quanta Computer proposed a NT$300 billion investment plan:

The Executive Yuan passed the “Challenge 2008: National Development Plan” on May 31, 2002, listing the semiconductor and flat panel display industries as the “Two-Trillion” industries in the “Two Trillion, Twin Star” plan. After that, officials from Quanta Computer visited the Hsinchu Science Park Administration on August 6, 2003 and proposed a NT$300 billion investment project to develop the high-definition television industry. The officials asked the administration to help the company procure some land for the establishment of the proposed industry. Moreover, in order to grasp more market opportunities, Quanta hoped that it could start building the factory in February 2004.

b. Quanta agreed to establish the factory in Longtan Science Park if the park could be included as part of the Hsinchu Science Park:

At the time, the Industrial Development Bureau under the Ministry of Economic Affairs had recommended Longtan Science Park, under development by Techview International Technology Inc., to Quanta as the site for its factory, while the Taoyuan County Government competitively had also promoted with great efforts the Taoyuan Science Park founded by the Formosa Plastics Group, to Quanta for the factory’s location. Quanta said on August 15, 2003 that it hoped to locate the factory in the Taoyuan Science Park. On September 3, personnel from the Hsinchu Science Park Administration made an inspection trip to the Taoyuan Science Park and found that the site would not meet Quanta’s requirements for its factory because the park, based in the seaside Guanyin Township, would cause salt damage to the factory’s confidential facilities. James Lee, then director-general of the administration, reported to the National Science Council on September 26 that if the government could include the Longtan Science Park in the Hsinchu Science Park, Quanta would be willing to set up its factory in Longtan. The council asked the administration to brief the Executive Yuan on this development as soon as possible.

c. The Executive Yuan approved the inclusion of the Longtan Science Park in the Hsinchu Science Park:

Quanta sent an official letter to the Executive Yuan on October 23, 2003 to inform them that it had decided to choose the Longtan Science Park as the site for its new factory. On December 5, the National Science Council presented a proposal to the Executive Yuan requesting the latter’s approval of the inclusion of the Longtan Science Park in the Hsinchu Science Park. The Executive Yuan referred the proposal to the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) for comprehensive review on December 9. Council staff held the first meeting to consider the proposal on December 15; at this meeting they expressed support for the inclusion of the Longtan Science Park in the Hsinchu Science Park in principle and proposed three plans concerning how Quanta might procure a plot of land in the Longtan Science Park. Quanta told the Hsinchu Science Park Administration on December 18 that two of the three plans (Plan A and Plan B) that CEPD proposed were both acceptable, but Plan A was preferred. The council replied to the Executive Yuan in an official letter on December 25, stating that it backed the inclusion of the Longtan Science Park in the Hsinchu Science Park, and that it was up to the Executive Yuan to decide which of the two plans should be the one for Quanta to procure the plot of land in the Longtan Science Park. On December 31, the Executive Yuan officially approved the inclusion of the Longtan Science Park in the Hsinchu Science Park and instructed that a better plan should be chosen for Quanta to obtain the plot of land.

d. What should be done should be done:

After that, the Executive Yuan remained unable to finalize which plan should be used for Quanta to purchase the land for its factory because it was concerned that the land deal might sway the upcoming presidential election in March 2004. The time of the election would be very close to the time that the decision on the land procurement plan would be made. In early January 2004, James Lee reported to former President Chen in the latter’s official residence that although the Executive Yuan had decided to include the Longtan Science Park in the Hsinchu Science Park, it had not been able finalize the plan for Quanta to obtain the land in the Longtan Science Park. This, added Lee, could affect Quanta’s investment plan. The former president replied that he would talk to officials in the Executive Yuan to understand the case better. As a result, Premier Yu Shyi-kun, Vice Premier Lin Hsin-i, Minister of the National Science Council Wei Che-ho, and James Lee went to the Presidential Office on January 5 to report to Chen on the related progress of the case. Chen instructed on the spot that what should be done should be done and the decision should not be affected by concerns about the election. After discussion in the meeting, the participating parties reached a consensus that since Plan A had been listed as the preferred plan, this plan should be pursued. Based on this consensus, the former president ordered that Plan A be the prior plan to be adopted. The Hsinchu Science Park Administration subsequently sent the proposal of Plan A to the National Science Council on January 19 for the council to refer to the Executive Yuan for approval. On January 28, the Executive Yuan officially approved both the inclusion of the Longtan Science Park in the Hsinchu Science Park and Plan A as the plan for Quanta to procure the land for its factory. This had not only led to the formal implementation of Quanta’s NT$300 billion investment project, but had also brought the “Two Trillion, Twin Star” plan into the limelight. Because these financial and economic policies are not under the authority of the President, it was beyond imagination that this meeting held in the Presidential Office would turn out to make the former president a defendant charged of a mercenary crime, i.e. “the president gave orders based on a consensus reached in the meeting.” The whole investigation into the Longtan Science Park case has been what may be called one great fishing expedition on the part of the prosecutors.

C. The money laundering case:

Since the investigation into the money laundering case began, no witness or evidence has shown that former President Chen had been involved in money laundering. Concise explanations of the key points of the money laundering case are as follows:

1. Important witnesses such as Huang Wei-sheng, Lin Wen-yuan, and Huang Fan-yen, who had been chief treasurers for Chen’s presidential campaigns, had all testified that during the election campaigns, Chen only focused on the campaigns and did not deal with campaign funds. The campaign funds had all been managed by his wife Wu Shu-jen.

2. The former president’s son Chen Chih-chung and daughter-in-law Huang Jui-ching had also testified that it was Wu who had managed their family’s money.

3. In addition, Yeh Ling-ling and Hsu Li-te, financial advisers to Chen Chih-chung, Huang Jui-ching, and Wu Shu-jen, had testified that the former president had neither opened overseas accounts nor instructed them to remit money abroad. It was not under former President Chen’s instructions that they had transferred money overseas.

4. None of the overseas accounts had been opened under the name of the former president, and he had never been a beneficiary of those accounts, nor had he ever taken any part in the process of remitting money. In the light of these objective facts, no one could claim proof or the authority to subject former President Chen to any penalty because of the money transferred abroad. The case remains at best selective speculation on the part of the prosecutors.

5. The former president had questioned Wu several times whether the overseas accounts really existed. At first his wife completely denied their existence. She had not admitted that she had remitted money abroad until January 2008, when her deposits in several Swiss bank accounts were frozen by the Swiss authorities and her savings overseas subsequently exposed. Former President Chen and his wife had then quarreled after the exposure of the accounts abroad. These episodes showed that the former president had been in the dark about the creation and existence of the overseas account until January 2008. 

6. After her deposits in the Swiss bank accounts were frozen, Wu, under Chen’s persistent questioning, admitted that in addition to the savings already frozen, she still had overseas deposits of US$2 million. The former president asked her to immediately close all her accounts abroad and put all of Wu’s overseas deposits in trust under Wu Li-pei (not related to Wu Shu-jen), then a presidential adviser, for the senior politician to do diplomatic work for Taiwan. Wu Li-pei had also testified that this was so.

7. The former president subsequently apologized publicly several times for failing to stop his family members from transferring political donations abroad. He had also said many times that if the overseas savings can be remitted back to Taiwan and be proven not to be illegal gains, he will not retain a penny but will donate all of them for public and charitable purposes.

8. The amounts of money for which Chen had been indicted are listed as including NT$104 million in the state affairs fund case, US$6 million in the Longtan Science Park Land Deal case, US$2.2 million in the Nankang Exhibition Hall case, and an unknown amount of overseas savings (including the frozen deposits in those Swiss bank accounts). Those savings abroad, however, had come from the Chen family’s private assets operations, unused campaign funds, and political donations rather than from illegal gains. Therefore, to charge Chen with any such crime as money laundering remains pure speculation based solely on amount and not sources.

9. Important witnesses such as Huang Wei-sheng, Lin Wen-yuan, and Huang Fan-yen, who had been chief treasurers for Chen’s presidential campaigns, had all testified to the truth that there had been unused campaign funds in every election, and that it was not impossible that unused campaign funds from presidential elections could reach several hundreds of millions of NT dollars due to the sheer scope of such elections. Witness Chen Chien-hwei had also testified that during Chen’s re-election campaign in 2004, she once helped make an inventory of political donations in Cathay United Bank, the total amount of which at the time was as large as NT$1.1 billion. Although this amount may seem unimaginably high to ordinary citizens, it is however a reality that is true for all of the major parties in Taiwan’s elections. If the total amount of political donations during any one election can reach as much as billions of NT dollars, it is not unimaginable that unused campaign funds could be as much as hundreds of millions of NT dollars. Taiwan’s laws on the use and holding of these campaign funds are very loose and flexible. These funds can not be seen as illegal gains simply because of their huge amounts. Further this practice of keeping and using campaign funds and donations for personal reasons is as was said common practice in all major parties. Candidates of major parties have done such things as creating media empires from their election donations and funds or recently running for positions such as Taipei Mayor against pundits’ advice because they anticipate a risk free means of justifying large amounts of cash. While this is not a pleasant picture for Taiwan’s voters to face, it has been a part of the political landscape dating back some fifty years into the one-party state days of the KMT.

II. The judicial procedures have lost fairness and justice: It is clear from this that the judicial procedures leading to the indictment and prosecution of former President Chen have followed a selective and predetermined path in investigating his case. Many of the prosecutors’ actions in the investigative process have violated and/or abused the law. This has not only vividly demonstrated how biased the prosecution’s views are and how prejudiced its position is, but has also revealed the tragic reality that Taiwan’s judiciary still has a very long way to go before it will be completely impartial, independent, and apolitical.

1. Minister of Justice Wang Ching-feng has repeatedly intervened in Chen’s cases and has instructed how they should be handled in an attempt to interfere with the cases politically. Her actions have violated the law and the Constitution:

a. The Minister of Justice has openly spearheaded violations against the principle of secret investigation:

During an exclusive interview in Sisy’s Show on CtiTV, Wang had set the topic for her talks as “Overseas Money Laundering” and publicly discussed and commented on the case, which was still under investigation at the time. In Episode 993 of Sisy’s Show on August 23, 2008, the minister said: “We know that the money had been transferred [to Switzerland] from Singapore, but the data provided by the Swiss authorities could not explain to whom this account belongs.” Wang’s remarks had touched upon the specific flow of the overseas remittance of money in this case and had obviously revealed its details, thereby violating the principle of secret investigation.

b. The minister went as far as publicly making a visit to the Kuomintang headquarters to discuss the action of State Public Prosecutor-General Chen Tsung-ming with KMT Secretary-General Wu Don-yih:

During a question and answer session (Q&A) with Wang in the Legislative Yuan on September 23, 2008, Wu, who was also a KMT legislator, mentioned that according to media reports, “hearsay had it” that Chen Tsung-ming once visited Huang Fan-yen in secret. Wu added that he hoped the Ministry of Justice could investigate this claimed incident. In response, Wang made this surprising reply: “No problem. I will immediately order an investigation into this incident after I return to the ministry.” After the interpellation, Wang instantly traveled to the KMT headquarters to discuss related issues with Wu. In directing an investigation into a case in which the state public prosecutor-general had been involved, had not Wang used the judiciary, a government branch, for private purposes or open political fights?  

c. Wang had admitted during a Q&A session in the Legislation Yuan that she had tried to influence State Public Prosecutor-General Chen’s decision on whether he should resign:

During the general questioning in the Legislative Yuan on September 24, 2008, Wang said that she once talked to Chen Tsung-ming [Note: State Public Prosecutor-General Chen was nominated by former President Chen] about public opinions [on the latter’s involvement in investigating Chen Shui-bian’s case]. But according to the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Civil Servant Work Act, Wang had no right to ask Chen Tsung-ming to avoid [involvement in former President Chen’s case]. However, under Legislator Chiu Yi’s questioning, Wang surprisingly said: “If I were Chen Tsung-ming, I would have resigned long ago.” Legislator Ding Shou-zhong also asked the minister: “Have you suggested to State Public Prosecutor-General Chen Tsung-ming that he should avoid [involvement in Chen Shui-bian’s case]?” Wang answered “yes.” It became clear that the Minister of Justice was completely ignorant of the fact of how she had openly committed the serious transgression of using her “justice and administrative position” to encroach on “the prosecution system.”

d. The Minister has actually resorted to means used during Taiwan’s martial law period as well as abusing her power in her attempts to meddle with former President Chen’s case; one of her ways of intervention was to threaten one of the former president’s lawyers. She gave direct orders to refer one of Chen Shui-bian’s lawyers to a disciplinary committee:

Cheng Wen-lung, the defense counsel for the former president, once conveyed to the public on Chen’s half how the latter felt and thought about being detained at the Taipei Detention Center. What Cheng said had not touched upon details of Chen’s case. However, the Ministry of Justice, on grounds that Cheng had made inappropriate remarks, issued an official notice to the Taipei Prosecutors’ Office and the Taipei Bar Association, demanding that they investigate into Cheng’s behavior and threatening to revoke Cheng’s attorney license. Based on the spirit of attorney autonomy enshrined in the Attorney Law, the Taipei Bar Association passed a resolution on December 25, 2008 not to discipline Cheng because it did not consider that his actions had constituted any reason for him to be disciplined. The Minister of Justice still went so far as to make the extremely improper comments that she found the Taipei Bar Association’s decision “regrettable.” After that, the Taipei Prosecutors’ Office still kept calling Cheng in and questioning him and later referred this lawyer to the Attorney Disciplinary Committee on December 31, 2008, stating that Cheng had violated lawyers’ code of ethics. The Ministry of Justice purposefully used means that harkened back to the martial law period in Taiwan to oppress and harass the defense counsel of former President Chen.

2. The Special Investigation Panel (SIP) had made a predetermined effort to indict former President Chen:

a. Prosecutors on the SIP began by holding a press conference and declaring that “if we cannot get this [Chen’s case] through, we will quit”:

SIP Chief and Spokesman Chen Yun-nan and the other seven prosecutors on the panel held an unprecedented joint press conference on September 15, 2008 to announce that “we will quit if we cannot get this case through (i.e. reach a guilty verdict).” From the very beginning the SIP has not been interested in finding the truth; instead it has had a predetermined effort to indict former President Chen. The former president’s official indictment was just a step for the panel to get through.

b. The SIP’s ridiculous bill of indictment left blank places where the amounts of the funds for which the former president was indicted should have been specified:

In the SIP’s initial bill of indictment, the key places where the specific amounts of the funds for which former President Chen was indicted of corruption should be stated were all left blank. Here are two examples from the bill: “The brokerage fee should be about NT$X billion” and “Below is how a bribe of about NT$X billion had come from.” Such examples are sufficient to prove that the SIP was on a fishing expedition and wanted to finish their probe as soon as possible. It did not care much about the quality of their investigation. Prosecutors on the SIP, as well as the state public prosecutor-general, had been in such a great hurry to publish the bill of indictment that they themselves did not even read it through carefully. They were in such haste because they had to fulfill their “oath” to get this case through by the end of 2008.

c. When the former president was released without bail after his first detention, the SIP immediately changed its position within one day. At first they said that they would not contest the ruling; then they later announced that they would. One cannot help questioning whether the SIP’s swift change of position had been a result of political intervention and of famous media talk show commentators’ attempt to direct the course of the case:

In the early hours of December 13, 2008, former President Chen was released without bail. SIP Spokesman Chen Yun-nan told reporters in the morning of December 14 that prosecutors on the panel respected and would not contest the court’s ruling. After Chen Yun-nan made the comment, KMT Legislator Chui Yi (labeled by some as the KMT’s attack dog) and a number of famous television talk show commentators expressed their disapproval of the SIP’s announcement. That night, Chen Yun-nan called reporters in great haste and, in contrast to what he said that morning, told them that the SIP would consider again whether it should contest the court’s ruling. As expected, the SIP did indeed change its original decision and contested the court’s ruling on December 16. Why had the SIP completely and hurriedly reversed its position on the court’s ruling within one day, first saying they would not contest the ruling but later stating they would? What political powers had meddled with this case? In the past, when Taiwan was under the KMT’s authoritarian rule, malicious political powers always directly controlled the judiciary and it was common that the prosecution would “indict or not indict people according to orders from above.” In this case, a dubious situation where the prosecution “might have contested the court ruling in compliance with orders from above” had again emerged. The shadow of political intervention within the judiciary has not yet been shaken off!   

3. Against all professional ethics, the court and the prosecution together performed a circus-like skit, heralding the return of authoritarian and bureaucratic rule:

During a celebration of Taiwan’s Law Day on January 11, 2009, the court and the prosecution flagrantly mocked and insulted former President Chen in a skit. Prosecutor Ching Chi-jen wrote the skit, which was performed by prosecutors who were involved in the investigation of Chen Shui-bian’s case. Those who watched the skit included Minister of Justice Wang Ching-feng, judges, and other judicial heavyweights. When the prosecutor who played former President Chen was put in handcuffs and cried aloud “court police hit me,” none of those present, who were all in the judiciary, rose to protest. Instead, all exploded into laughter and could hardly contain a disturbing glee! Commenting on the skit, Jerome Cohen, a Harvard Law School professor and also President Ma Ying-jeou’s mentor, said the performance was “unthinkable” and that there is “an increasingly disturbing circus atmosphere” surrounding the Chen trial. 

4. The SIP had attempted to demean former President Chen by deliberately leaking details of the case to certain media outlets:

a. It is obvious that the SIP has not only violated the principle of secret investigation, but has also purposely turned the case into a public trial by media. The Control Yuan had felt obligated to issue a report to correct the SIP’s actions. In addition, during a tea time with reporters at the end of October, 2008, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan also stated publicly that it seems that the principle of secret investigation has never been kept.

b. Almost each of the following media outlets, from television channels TVBS, TVBSN, CtiTV, and ETTV to several magazines, had become experts on this case, and, in their programs or articles, openly directing the prosecution how to conduct its investigation and “predicting” what would be the prosecutors’ next step. What’s more bizarre was that these media outlets’ “predictions” had often “come true” and that chunks of the contents of the case’s investigation records had also frequently appeared in their reports, which were found to have not missed one single word or made any mistake when compared with the authentic records. One cannot help but doubt that it was the SIP that had been providing these media outlets with the information that they had gathered during the ongoing investigation, so as to smear and slander the former president to the largest extent by publicly criticizing, denouncing, and humiliating him in an open trial by media. In effect this has made a fair trial of this case impossible. 

5. Exemplifying another aspect of the double standard, prosecutors had released defendants Liu Jia-chang, [a film director], and Jeffery Koo, Jr., [a businessman], both of whom “had been found to have taken actions to attempt escape,” on bail, yet they insisted on continuing the detention of former President Chen, who “had never failed to show up when subpoenaed by the prosecution”:

a. Liu, suspected of embezzling KMT funds, has been on the wanted list [since 2007]. Although “a travel ban” was imposed on him after he returned to Taiwan, consent was given “for the ban to be lifted so that Liu could go to Hong Kong.” This has created a strange and dangerous precedent in judicial history! A wanted man, who had lived in exile overseas, could freely enter and leave Taiwan. It was reported that Liu had obtained such freedom because he wrote to Minister of Justice Wang Ching-feng in order to put pressure on the prosecution. Although Wang denied this, Liu’s lawyer had confirmed that Liu had written to Wang twice. With this contradiction between remarks made by Wang and Liu’s lawyer, Liu had been able to travel to Hong Kong twice when a travel ban had been imposed on him. It is no wonder that many members of the public have questioned the fairness of the judiciary when comparing Liu’s case with Chen’s. 

b. Jeffery Koo Jr. was placed on the wanted list two years ago for his involvement in six cases and had been a fugitive in Japan. Would the SIP “give Koo special grace outside the law” simply because it must indict former President Chen? [Note: Koo was both a witness and defendant in Chen’s case.] The SIP had not only treated Koo like an honored guest, but had also exempted him from any limitation on residence or immigration control. The comparison of the SIP’s treatments of Koo and of Chen shows that when deciding whether to detain someone, the prosecutors had made the decisions “based on their own intentions rather than on objective facts.” The continued practice of a double standard begs the question of whether the SIP is just and professional.

6. Despite the leniency granted the above two, as many as 11 people have been detained in this case. On the surface, the SIP’s reasons to detain them included their possible flight or collusion with other defendants and witnesses. Since the investigations were instigated in 2006, a claim of collusion of witnesses at this point (2009) is moot. Rather, the truth remained that the SIP only had one standard to determine whether to detain someone: Those who would not cooperate with the panel in getting their desired answers will be detained!

Up to 11 people have been detained in this case, and almost everyone subpoenaed was detained. The SIP had adopted a scare strategy of “detaining people so as to obtain useful testimonies,” in this way the prosecutors had forced the co-defendants and witnesses to comply with their intentions and give the testimonies they wanted. The panel has not only abused its power in detaining these people, but has also led the judiciary further away from the truth of this case.

7. Examinations into the video-recording of the investigative and questioning process of this case have been like opening Pandora’s box. The recording showed that the process was interspersed with illegal and abusive actions by the SIP such as intimidation, coercion, cheating, coaxing the interrogated to give false testimonies, making them give testimonies it wanted by leading them to step into traps it set, and offering them plea bargains or opportunities to become state witnesses in exchange for testimonies it wanted. All of these have cast unbearable shadow over Taiwan’s judiciary:

Examinations into the video-recording of the investigative and questioning process of the state affairs fund case and the Longtan Science Park Land Deal case have been illuminating. Take the video-recording of the SIP’s interrogation of James Lee, the contents of which was also kept in a written record, on October 31, 2008, for example:

  1. Prosecutors on the panel coerced and intimidated Lee 24 times during the process.
  2. They interrupted Lee 32 times and would not let him continue his narration.
  3. They coerced and lured Lee five times, indicating that he must fault the meeting in the Presidential Office and say it was former President Chen who ordered related officials to adopt Plan A [for Quanta to acquire the plot of land].
  4. They lured Lee with benefits twice in an effort to make him confess that he was guilty.
  5. They deceived and played him false once in order to make him confess that he was guilty.

Reviews of the video-recording revealed that the SIP had repeatedly coerced Lee and threatened to call for a heavy “jail sentence of more than 10 years” for him if he would not cooperate with it. Furthermore, the prosecutors had over and over again threatened to “make a detailed check” of Lee’s property. They even made intimidating remarks such as these: “The five men who reached the consensus will all be dealt with” [referring to former President Chen and the other four officials who held the meeting to discuss Quanta’s investment project]; “You will die very miserably when the written record of this interrogation is completed”; “You will really be brought to total poverty and ruin”; “We have detained you in order to find you a way out.” 

8. The prosecution system, which has disproportionately only prosecuted those from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and has not dared to investigate those in the ruling KMT, has violated Article 7 of the Constitution, which states that all citizens, irrespective of party affiliation, shall be equal before the law:

a. Special allowances for administrative heads of government:

There are 192 people to be investigated for their use of the special allowances for administrative heads of government (according to the Control Yuan’s investigation report). However, the prosecution has only prosecuted those of the green camp, having indicted a number of administrative heads of the former DPP government, including former Vice President Annette Lu, former Premier Yu Shyi-kun, former Minister of the Interior Lee Yi-yang, former Minister of Civil Service Chu Wu-hsian, former Minister of Justice Shih Mao-lin, former Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng, and former Minister of Examination Lin Chia-cheng. In contrast, the prosecution has not even begun investigations into those administrative heads of the KMT government against whom reports of misuse of their special allowances have also been filed. As the prosecutors continue to only prosecute those in the green camp and not those in the blue camp, the people have asked, if this is not selective prosecution, what is?

b. Unused campaign funds:

Former President Lee Teng-hui himself had admitted that his expenditures during the 1996 presidential election were NT$2.5 billion, but his campaign finance report stated that he had spent less than NT$300 million. Lien Chan and James Soong were respectively the KMT’s presidential and vice presidential candidates in the 2004 election, and Lee once noted in private that their campaign had cost NT$12 billion. Lien and Soong’s campaign finance report, however, said they only spent a little more than NT$310 million during the election. In addition, the KMT had set aside NT$1 billion in its annual budget for the 2008 presidential election, but Ma Ying-jeou and Vincent Siew’s campaign finance report stated that they only spent NT$670 million. There are huge discrepancies in all these campaign finance reports, and the figures are matters of public record, but no prosecutors have begun any investigation into them nor has the media appeared to be shocked over where the unspent money went.

c. The transfer of money into overseas accounts in the Zanadu Development case:

With regard to former President Lee Teng-hui’s Zanadu Development case, both the Investigation Bureau’s written investigative record and the prosecution’s written re-investigation record contained detailed statements about Lee’s transferring US$50 million, which is more than NT$1.6 billion, into two overseas dummy accounts held by Chen Kuo-sheng and Lee Chung-jen, who were part of his retinue. The prosecution, however, declined from carrying out further investigations into this case. What’s more, Lee Ying-hao, presiding judge of the case, even publicly asked the following questions during a court trial of Yeh Sheng-mao, former director-general of the Investigation Bureau: “Where is the written record [regarding the Zanadu Development case]?” and “Why have I never seen this written record?” Judge Hu Hung-wen, who also handled Lee’s case, said he “has never seen” this written record, either. This filed written record had conveniently disappeared. Who has covered up and “buried” this case?

d. The Chung Hsing Bills Finance case:

After James Soong, a former KMT governor of Taiwan, [was accused of embezzling millions of NT dollars from the KMT] in the Chung Hsing Bills Finance case, a report was filed against him [after the 2000 presidential election] saying that his campaign finance report did not include unused campaign funds of more than NT$240 million. After that, Soong agreed to return those funds to the KMT, which had even officially sued Soong for embezzling NT$360 million of party funds. But the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office selectively decided not to indict Soong on January 20, 2001 and subsequently closed the case. Soong had also never been detained.

e. Former KMT Legislator Lee Ching-an’s dual nationality case:

Lee Ching-an was accused of holding dual nationality in March 2008 [She was still a legislator at the time]. But the prosecution had made no progress in handling her case and had blatantly delayed investigation into it for up to 300 days. Under the questioning of DPP legislators in January 2009, Minister of Justice Wang Ching-feng had no choice but to say “the investigation has taken too long.” Not until then did the prosecution establish the reality of Lee’s holding dual nationality as a criminal case and officially began investigation into it. The day after the official investigation started, however, the KMT caucus still tried to delay the handling of the case by saying that they would like to negotiate [with the DPP] about how to deal with Lee’s dual citizenship. If prosecutors had investigated her case with the intensity and fury as the SIP had done in former President Chen’s case, they would have searched the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Lee’s residence and office and would even have detained her. Why didn’t the prosecutors do so? Why has the prosecution adopted this double standard? Why did the law turn away whenever it encountered the KMT? These are questions the people of Taiwan ask; Lee had collected some US$ 3 million in illegal salaries.

f. The scandalous cases that Ma Ying-jeou was involved in remain, including his sale of the KMT’s Central Motion Pictures Corp., Broadcasting Corporation of China, China Television Co., and Institute on Policy Research and Development [when he was the party chairman], and his handling of [the bidding process for the construction of] Taipei Arena, [the signing of a contract to build] the Taipei Cultural and Sports Park, and the Taipei City Government’s underselling of Taipei Bank [when he was Taipei mayor]; further other blue-camp government leaders’ special allowance cases have not been pursued:

The SIP has employed eight prosecutors to investigate cases related to former President Chen with an all out effort. Former administrative heads of the DPP government, including former Vice President Annette Lu, have also been speedily indicted for their use of their special allowances. However, members of the public have not seen the prosecution taking concrete actions to investigate the various above scandalous cases that Ma Ying-jeou was involved in. Even Eric Chen, the prosecutor who indicted those related to the state affairs fund, has questioned “the prosecution’s targeting only a certain group of individuals.”

9. The court proceedings [handling former President Chen’s case] have been frequently interspersed with prejudiced, illegal, and unconstitutional actions. The judiciary has long lost its fairness and justice, and public confidence in it has been completely shattered:

a. The original presiding judge of Chen’s case was replaced through administrative maneuvers, which have been illegally, unconstitutionally, and openly conducted to interfere with the judiciary:

The former president’s case was originally and openly assigned by lot to Judge Chou Chan-chun, who had twice released Chen without bail. However, in order to detain Chen, the authorities went so far as to publicly replace Judge Chou with Judge Tsai Shou-hsun through a review panel consisting of five division chief judges, so that Judge Tsai could try and detain the former president. In other words, judicial administration has gone to great lengths to flagrantly interfere with court proceedings so that Chen could be detained. Anyone in the judiciary who has a basic level of conscience would never cooperate with such maneuvers, which have meddled with the judiciary illegally and unconstitutionally. But what is even more outlandish is that Judge Tsai’s panel would willingly play the degrading role of the main character in this circus, utterly wrecking the dignity of the judiciary.

b. The detention of former President Chen has been unreasonable and biased and threatens the legality and constitutionality of the court.

On the surface, Judge Tsai’s panel’s reasons to detain Chen included concerns about the latter’s possible flight and collusion with other defendants and witnesses. But in fact the panel’s only reason to continue Chen’s detention is that he would “disturb the judiciary.” It is nevertheless the judiciary’s own duty to main its impartiality and independence from external influences. How can the judiciary allow itself to be easily “disturbed” by a defendant? What is even more absurd is that [Judge Tsai’s panel’s] reasons to detain Chen have no legal basis for a judge to so rule that a defendant be detained and deprived of his freedom. That Judge Tsai himself went out of his way to invent reasons to detain Chen is nothing but evidence that he has been using detention as a means for revenge and punishment. This is completely illegal and unconstitutional. He has exchanged the role of a fair and just judge for that of executioner bent on playing the role of hero by pleasing the will of those at the top!

c. The Judges’ indifference to Chen’s health condition has not only violated a humanitarian spirit but can be considered inhumane:

As a former head of state elected by the people, Chen has been suffering various health problems since his questionable and prejudicial detention on December 30, 2008. He has had symptoms of difficulties in his heart, lungs, eyes, and feet, and he has even been limping when he walks. However, when he, a detained defendant, felt extreme sick during one court proceeding, the judges, who were not medical professionals with the knowledge to determine a person’s health condition, refused to have Chen’s illness checked nor send him to a hospital; instead, they frivolously laughed at him in court and claimed that he “was acting.” To rid themselves of all responsibility for his health, they ordered that he simply be sent back to the detention center. In doing so, they have sloppily deprived the defendant of his right to a hospital admission under guard. The judges’ intense focus only on achieving a guilty verdict has bereft them of considerations of humanity.

Source: http://www.wretch.cc/blog/ketagalan/12878276


 


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US President Barack Obama promised on Wednesday to get tougher with China on enforcing trade rules, stepping up the tone amid rising friction between the two powers over Taiwan and Tibet.

Obama also hinted that he would take Beijing to task over the strength of its yuan currency, responding to growing restlessness in the US Congress over Chinese monetary policy as the US economy charts an uncertain recovery.