Thursday, April 29, 2010

Michael Tsai Case

Another event lost in the ECFA debate glare was the Michael Tsai case. The Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada has a letter on it, with a similar one sent to the new Minister of Justice:


加 拿 大 台 灣 人 權 協 會

Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada
April 24, 2010

Dear Chairman Ma,

We are writing to you as Chair of the Kuomintang to express our concern about a news item published on the KMT Official Website on Monday April 19, 2010. “Ex-Defense Minister Michael Tsai Named Defendant” was a news item in the China Times on April 18 (邱義仁洩機密 蔡明憲轉列被告), subsequently carried on the KMT website. It is the fact that this was published on the KMT Official Website that especially raises our concern.

In our experience the publication in the KMT News Network of leaked news from the Special Investigation Unit of the Prosecutors Office is more than simply reporting news. This pattern has been repeated many times since the KMT News Network started publishing illegal leaks in the cases against former President Chen and his family. These leaks always presaged a new wave of trial by media and political prosecutions. It is hard not to conclude that some news items in the KMT Official Website are in essence an indirect indication from the Party to the Prosecutors Office and the Courts, that this is what the Party approves of.

We are aware that in your capacity as President of the Republic of China you have, appropriately, disavowed any interference in the justice system. But we also know how, in the past at least, the Party has communicated its wishes to the State in the Republic of China. As Chairman of the Party you can communicate, directly and indirectly, out of public view, through the Party, rather than through government channels.

As to whether or not a party-state is being revived in the Republic of China, we can only voice our suspicions. But considering the record of prosecutions and impeachments of former administration officials since you came to state power as President, it is difficult for us to set aside such suspicions.

45 Fontainbleau Drive Toronto Canada M2M 1P1

We are even more concerned when we read that a rarely used law, seemingly left over from authoritarian days - “Hampering Foreign Relations of the State” (妨害國交) - is reportedly to be used against former Defense Minister Michael Tsai. In reading the articles on hampering relations with foreign states in the criminal code of the Republic of China, we cannot see how they are remotely related to the reported facts in this case.

As to alleged violations of the Law on Protection of State Secrets (國家機密保護法), we understand that Minister Tsai gave these documents to his superior in response to an order. Minister Tsai can hardly be held responsible for possible misuse of them by Chiu Yi-ren. Prosecuting Minister Tsai under this law, in which evidence will likely be withheld from the public (being state secrets), will raise suspicions of a new form of political persecution.

We urge you, using the real influence that you have as Chairman of the Party, to bring an end to these types of prosecutions. The reputation of the justice system of the ROC is at stake here. Through your leadership you can assure the world that the KMT Party is not seeking to restore the former party-state.

We thank you for your attention to this matter, which is of great concern to members of the Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada, and other Canadians.

Rev. Michael Stainton, President, THRAC
Toronto, April 24, 2010

cc. Alex Neve, Executive Director, Amnesty Canada
Taiwanese Association for Human Rights

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Islander said...

The Chinese Nationalist Party is so shamelessly grabbing to power using all means possible while at the same time colluding with the Chinese Communist Party. Why is it that they are still in power?

A democracy is only as good as its citizens.

vin said...

"A democracy is only as good as its citizens."

Or, more classically put: "Every nation gets the government it deserves." -- Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821)