Nevertheless, on Monday, Taipei District Court Judge Tsai Shou-hsun and two other judges accepted claims by Special Investigation Unit prosecutors that it is still necessary to keep ex-president locked in the Taipei Detention Center since he could flee Taiwan, collude with witnesses or damage evidence, even though all testimony and evidence gathering has been completed.I don't blog on the case much any more -- it's like coming downstairs in the morning to find the cat threw up on the rug, but you let it sit there all day because you just can't face cleaning it up. Nevertheless, it is clear that the State is obsessed with convicting Chen at any cost. His guilt or innocence is no longer a relevant issue, if it ever was. In a nation where the press was reliably balanced, this would be a grave problem for the Administration, but not in Taiwan, where the media largely serves the ruling party's interests. Chairman Tsai of the DPP noted:
In an apparent exercise of "blaming the victim," the judges also declared that Chen's hunger strike and other actions to protest his "illegal detention" constituted "interference in the judicial process."
In fact, this decision actually provides further reason to suspect that the court is engaging in a politically motivated and punitive abuse of the controversial power of "preventative detention" and has no intention of respecting the hallowed legal principle of the assumption of innocence.
The SIU's claim that two more months of detention is "necessary" holds little water since prosecutors have already completed virtually all evidence gathering in the cases involving the ex-president and there is scant room for Chen to "collude with witnesses" or "destroy evidence" in a case that is now being tried and since Chen will be unable to escape the 24-hour "protection" of National Security Bureau agents.
Particularly noteworthy is the "coincidence" that SIU prosecutors rushed to file a new indictment against Chen and Wu last week claiming that they had accepted bribes from former Taipei 101 chairwoman Diane Chen and former Chinatrust Financial Holdings vice chairman Jeffrey Koo, Jr despite the protestations by both Chen and Koo that funds were indeed political contributions to the Democratic Progressive Party.
The timing of this indictment cannot but spark suspicion that the SIU intends to use an endless series of indictments to keep Chen detained indefinitely and thereby deny the ex-president any room for a fair defense.
Her visit to Chen, first-ever after Chen was held in custody, came after a court ruling earlier this week to detain Chen for extra two months until late July. “The decision is neither reasonable nor justifiable, but a highly politically-motivated one,” said Tsai.We'll see what kind of blowback this and other actions by the government generate on May 17th....
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