“The crimes committed by former President Chen Shui-bian in the four cases are severe. The illicit funds he gained from the cases were unprecedented in history. During the investigation, he kept criticizing the justice system and showed no regrets whatsoever about what he had committed. Serving two terms as President of the Republic of China, he used to solemnly swear by the Constitution that he would be loyal in his duties and that he was willing to accept the severest punishment if he breached his oath. He knows the law but violate the law. Therefore, the SIU has decided to seek the severest punishment from the court,” said SIU spokesman Chen Yun-nan.It's pointless to reiterate how ridiculous the verbiage is here -- I will only quote from a NYTimes op-ed on the prosecutor's statements in the case against the Gov. of Illinois for attempting to sell Barack Obama's vacant senate seat:
The court in which Mr. Blagojevich is charged, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, has a local rule mandating that a “lawyer shall not make an extrajudicial statement the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is likely to be disseminated by public media and, if so disseminated, would pose a serious and imminent threat to the fairness of an adjudicative proceeding.” The rule goes on to say that a public statement "ordinarily is likely to have such an effect when it refers to" a criminal matter and to "the character or reputation of the accused, or any opinion as to the accused’s guilt or innocence, as to the merits of the case, or as to the evidence in the case." The American Bar Association’s model rules are similar, if not more restrictive.
Against this backdrop, it is hard to feel comfortable with Mr. Fitzgerald’s remarks in announcing the charges that Mr. Blagojevich’s conduct amounted to a "political corruption crime spree" and "would make Lincoln roll over in his grave," that "the breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering," that Mr. Blagojevich "put a 'for sale' sign on the naming of a United States senator" and that his conduct was "cynical" and “appalling” and has "taken us to a truly new low."
Chen was indicted and released, though he cannot travel and was confined to his home. Apparently cuffs were not necessary this time. Chen is accused of stealing about $3.1 million US from the special funds.
In addition to destroying Chen, whom the Blues have been obsessing about for years, this has some other political dimensions to it. Chen stated shortly after the case broke that the Special Funds were being used to fund dissidents in China. You can imagine what governments might be interested in tracking that flow of funds. It has also been pointed out to me that by trolling through Chen's bank records and forcing testimony from scores of people close to Chen, a pretty good picture of the DPP donor base can be developed. Of course there is the political capital to be gained from pinning Chen to the DPP, and from stoking the Chen case so the public forgets about how badly the country is being run right now, and that the island's relations with China are being handled by party-to-party talks outside the democratic purview of the populace. Chen Shui-bian is so useful, if he didn't exist, he would have to be invented.
There's not much else to say. This case has been going for 2 years. It is now up to the Courts.
UPDATE: AP has a detailed account of some of the many lurid accusations here. Although I can't imagine how they could have written that Chen's election was thought by the Taiwanese to put "an end to the decades of endemic corruption" here.
UPDATE 2: AFP reports that they are going after Lee Teng-hui. Everyone on the independence and democracy side must be running scared.