Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Zain Dean Case: Various statements

A couple of weeks ago the news broke that Zain Dean, a UK national, had escaped Taiwan using someone else's passport after having been sentenced to four years for allegedly hitting someone with his car while driving drunk. Here are several statements about the case from Dean and others....there are some good comments in the forums at Taiwanease.

Dean's own statement at Taiwanease.

An additional statement from Dean.

Dean's 2010 statement

News: Dean's girlfriend detained. Prosecutors say no deal for Dean. Ministry asks for Dean's extradition.

REFS: A few years ago, Brian Kennedy wrote several articles on the legal system and in particular, judges. Here is one from Taiwan Review, and this excellent piece for AmCham.
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.


Tim Maddog said...

In all their recent reporting on this, the Taipei Times seems to have forgotten this very important detail from their own reporting:
- - -
In our March 29 edition, we reported incorrectly that prosecutors said they had footage of Zain Dean, a British businessman, getting into the driver’s seat of his car before a fatal hit-and-run (“Expat bailed after hit and run,” page 2). The footage in fact showed a pub worker getting into the driver’s seat. The Taipei Times regrets the error.
- - -

Instead, they just keep repeating like zombies:
- - -
Zain Dean … convicted … sentenced … fled … offender
- - -

Tim Maddog

Michael Turton said...

Yes, I've been DEEPLY disturbed by the TT coverage. Not a breath anywhere that another view of the case is possible.


John Scott said...

What a hopelessly complicated case! It appears that what made it so hopelessly complicated was the mishandling of the evidence and the whole investigation on the part of the police.

The way it was handled by the police, the judges, AND the local media, who can blame the guy for making a desperate escape? He never had a snowball's chance.

Whatever he was or was not guilty of, it was all going to be pinned on him from the very start of the case, anyway.

And I guess he didn't anticipate getting any support from his consulate or cultural/trade mission in Taipei.

Michael Turton said...

The consular officials can only check to make sure he is properly treated while in custody. They cannot take his side.


Anonymous said...

I think this case helps to illustrate why the structural racism/racialism of the ROC IS actually a big deal.

Taiwanese politicians love to crow about Taiwan as a multiethnic society, but the recognition of ethnic diversity is obscured by ideas of racial and ethnic primacy and even popular notions of social darwinism that leach into affecting how social institutions do not adhere to the letter of the law by ensuring fairness and equality.

Aborigines learned this several decades ago.

There is also a desire to satisfy the mob. Ma Ying-jiu, the "Harvard legal scholar" recognized this aspect of Taiwanese society as he appealed to the judicial system to reach "popular" decisions with an eye on public expectation in the cases surrounding Chen Shui-bian.

A better example may be the case of the Shihchi Trio, where mishandled evidence and a whole host of improprieties during the discovery phase of the trial, improprieties that included torture of the suspects, were upheld due to the severe nature of the case and the public's need to satisfy the sense of equal retribution for the crime.

In contrast, in America's famed OJ Simpson case, seemingly minor procedural errors in handling evidence served to void much of the physical evidence used by the prosecution.

Of course, it helps to have a constitution written by framers who did not believe in the benevolence or infallibility of the state, but rather had immense distrust of the state.

John Scott said...

I wouldn't expect consular officials to automatically take the side of their citizens in criminal cases, or to take responsibility for their legal defense, but I was assuming (without being able to cite specific cases) that there were precedents in which consulates had at least made requests in cases where internationally-recognised standards of due process were obviously lacking. I hope his consulate has done at least that much. If so, I'm sure it was handled as much as possible through closed channels.

Off topic, but this brings up another question. I often wonder just how close to the bottom of the list the Taipei "cultural and trade missions" are, as far as relative job status for the foreign service personnel stationed in Taiwan from countries that do not have an embassy in Taiwan. My impression is that for certain countries, it is the place where they send beginners, interns, or people who just need to put in a couple more years before retirement. If they do OK in Taipei a few years, then I'm sure they can be promoted to embassies in a dozen or so countries in Micronesia that I couldn't find on a map.

It would really be interesting to read an article by someone who could make valid comparisons between foreign service personnel in Taiwan and other Asian countries.

Anonymous said...

John what a very ppor statement you make about foreign service personell. The previous head on ACIO Taipei is now the Australian Ambassador to China. You obviosly have no idea tha the work done here is the same as in other countries.

ZD was convicted because the KTV Driver was on vidoe which was proven not to be tampered with back at the KTV before the accident. When the appeals court judged asked Zain Dean who was driving Zain Dean had nothing to say.

Anonymous said...

Now that the Scottish High Court Judge has examined both of ZD's trials, looked at the claims ZD made about police and judicial corruption and scolded ZD for making ridiculous claims with no evidence to back them up and ordered ZD be extradited for his crimes, what his supporters will now say. ZD's 2 criminal trials were found to be fair as was the civil trial. Thats now 4 trials for ZD and he has been found guilty at all of them.