In response to the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU)’s accusation that he had followed instructions from Mainland authorities, Prosecutor General Huang Shih-ming refuted the TSU’s groundless accusation with a rare public response. Huang said that Chen Shui-bian admitted that it was he who had squelched the investigation into the case during his 8-year rule, and even provocatively accused the SIU of “daring to indict him, but not Lee.” Huang said that the SIU now merely allowing the case to “see the light” after it had been squelched by Chen, and argued that the SIU would be deaf and dumb to ignore Chen’s accusations that the SIU did not have the guts to deal with Lee’s case.Notes:
Huang Shih-ming stated that politicians should do some soul-searching as to whether or not they had done anything illegal, and should not insist on their innocence by accusing the justice system of political persecution after their indictment. He explained, “The period of election campaigns is not a protective umbrella for politicians. The investigation into the national security confidential fund case had been delayed for 8 years, or are we willing to wait for the statute of limitations in the case to expire, just like the case in which airman Chiang Kuo-ching had been wrongfully indicted and executed for the rape and murder of a 5-year-old girl in 1997?”
Huang Shih-ming said that the SIU was currently investigating other cases involving Lee Teng-hui, adding that the principle for the SIU’s investigation was that if there was no concrete criminal evidence, the SIU would clear Lee’s name as soon as possible, otherwise, he would be indicted accordingly.
Asked about the public’s suspicion that the timing was inappropriate, Huang asked that since Taiwan had an election each year, did that mean that the SIU could not indict any politicians at all?
- The claim that Chen Shui-bian squashed the case against Lee Teng-hui is contradicted by the internal evidence of Huang in this passage, who also said that Chen accused the SIU of lacking the guts to pursue the case -- meaning that Huang is claiming that Chen accused the SIU of being too chicken to go after Lee when he himself was preventing them from going after Lee. Right.
- Huang says that the SIU is merely letting the case come to light after Chen had squelched it (the additional political hack on Chen should be obvious). Ma Ying-jeou was inaugurated in May of 2008. Three years have passed. Where has this case been?
- Following the pattern in the Chen Shui-bian case, Huang alludes to more charges to come. In the Chen Shui-bian case, charges were piled on, apparently to enhance the appearance of corruption.
- Lee is accused of embezzling state affairs funds, the same charge Chen was found innocent of.
- Recall that Ma was found "innocent" of embezzling the analogical slush fund for his time as mayor. There was no dispute that Ma downloaded the funds into his private accounts, but this was found to be ok. The DPP and KMT recently agreed to retroactively legalize private use of the special funds that ranking bureaucrats receive, effectively eliminating this threat to all officials but the President, who was specifically exempted from the legislation so that Chen Shui-bian could still be attacked. Essentially Lee is being indicted for doing what Ma Ying-jeou was found innocent of and all other politicians of lower rank have been exempted from.
- The TSU's bizarre accusation that Huang is a puppet of Beijing may be inspired by the fact that he just got back from an official trip to China.
- I have heard that Lee was going to speak at a TSU fundraiser on Friday and announce his support for Tsai. I haven't found any public confirmation of this.
This Lee indictment will not sit well with most groups, but it will make the Deep Blue KMTers who hate Lee passionately quite happy.
Note that the money had to pass through the National Security Bureau. The NSB's chief accountant, General Hsu Ping-chiang was charged in 2003 in connection with these funds and cleared for lack of evidence in 2004. Lee's lawyer claims the SIU prosecutor's office has no new evidence. Hsu was one of a gaggle of retired intelligence officers who visited China earlier this year.
The Taipei Times reported on claims by DPPer Ellen Huang that point out how the KMT is going to try to smear Tsai Ing-wen with this case:
Huang said that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) recently said the charge against Lee would point to Tsai’s involvement in an “816 project” under the secret diplomacy funds from which Lee allegedly embezzled. The 816 project was part of the Mingteh Project (明德專案) focusing on secret diplomacy with the US and Japan. Chiu alleged that Tsai received NT$2.62 million (US$91,147) from the 816 project and passed the money to Yang Chih-heng (楊志恆), who Chiu said was involved in the money-laundering charge against Lee.Wonderful. The Taipei District Prosecutor's Office, you may recall, is where the prosecutors, including one involved in the Chen case, held that disgusting skit portraying Chen Shui-bian as an AIDS victim, Remember when 8 prosecutors stood and said they would pursue Chen to the bitter end? No bias in this office, no sirree.
Remember when the judge in the Chen case was switched when he ruled in Chen Shui-bian's favor? But there's no bias in the prosecutors, and the judiciary is independent.
I'll leave you with Jerome Cohen's thought on the Chen case, but I suspect it will soon become applicable in the Lee (Tsai-by-proxy) case:
Jerome Cohen, in one of his recent letters, noted that in Chinese jurisprudence the issue is not the legitimacy of the legal process but the guilt or innocence of the accused. The "trial by media" that Chen is undergoing is effective because it appeals to this cultural preference.Whatever happens, this can only further polarize Taiwan's divided electorate. It presages an ugly, brutal campaign season.
- Jobs sucked to China because Taiwan is not Singapore. Half right.
- Jetties -- little projections of the construction-industrial state -- are destroying Taiwan's coastlines.
- Craig Ferguson has started a weekly themed photo challenge, the Taiwan Photo Challenge. This week's theme is food. See Facebook
- KMT legislator complains party leadership is out of touch with central, south.
- A Taiwan artist on the Corel Blog.
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