Taiwan's Prosecutors Continue to Abuse Their Power

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Friday December 25, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Taiwan's prosecutors continue to abuse their power in the Chen Shui-bian case as they set out on yet another fishing expedition. They recently announced a fourth round of indictments (22 people) in Chen's case. So far they have called in just about anyone and everyone that ever shook hands with Chen or offered to buy him a cup of coffee.

Why are so many indicted? Despite having kept Chen in jail so long that he cannot prepare a proper defense, the prosecutors do not have a solid case of their own. They need to continue fishing. They need to find someone who they can threaten, bully or cajole to at least forge or fabricate a story to comply with their position. Or they hope by constant indictments to force Chen to bargain with them.

Contrast this abuse of power by prosecutors with three of the most obvious pan-blue cases. First there is the flagrant open and shut case of ex-legislator Diane Lee who illegally ripped Taiwan's taxpayers off of some US$3 million. Lee has never spent a day in jail; Lee still enjoys the money. None of her bank accounts have been frozen. Lee has two passports and can easily skip the country with either one. Yet as she continues to spend the taxpayer's money, Lee's prosecutors are debating whether they should even charge her for anything. Further what about the many members of Lee's family, relations and fellow KMT party who knew of her duplicity. Chen's case is in its fourth round of indictments. Why then have none ever been indicted or even called in for questioning in Lee's case?

Contrast this with the fact that only one person (a lowly secretary) went to jail in the money-laundering case of Ma Ying-jeou. This man went to jail for nine months for putting about a half a million US dollars in Ma's bank account. The mind boggles when the public is asked to believe that one lone secretary is the only perpetrator guilty of all this corruption and not even for his own pocket. Why has Ma been able to funnel money into his personal and private "non-profit" foundation?

Contrast this with James Soong found guilty three times of similar money-laundering and corruption. Yet surprisingly Soong never spent a day in jail and no one else was indicted along with him? Soong only paid back taxes on lesser amounts. In all of this, what of the fact that ironically Soong has never had a job in the past decade.

How does a man without work for over a decade finance two costly political campaigns for the presidency and one for mayor of Taipei? Or were those campaigns also fronts for money laundering? Why has no one else ever been indicted in Soong's cases? Where has Soong gotten all the money for his campaigns, his property in the USA and his numerous bank accounts?

There is no question that a large sum of money has been moved in the Chen case; but large and larger sums of money have always been moved from Taiwan since 1949 when the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) fled China. With Taiwan's vague and loose laws on campaign contributions and special allowance funds etc. the issue remains why is it illegal for one person of one party and not for the thousands of others who have consistently done it before and continue to do it. Not only that, the KMT dominated Legislative Yuan has recently floated the idea that they want to change the laws so it can be done legally but this will happen only after they have persecuted Chen. All this is in the name of fighting corruption. Diogenes left town a long time ago.