Taiwan's Diane Lee, Is She Guilty Not Only of Fraud, But Also Perjury?

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Friday July 15, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Taiwan citizens currently find themselves turning aside from the Lee Teng-hui indictment case and refocusing on the case of another Lee. That case is the forgery case of Diane Lee, who was found guilty of, shall we say, ripping the country off of some $US 3.5 million dollars. Lee's guilty verdict has come up for appeal. Diane Lee had to resign from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and from the Legislature because of the case, but now she is tearfully trying to argue that she worked hard for her illegal money. By such bogus reasoning then, she wants to be allowed to keep the money as well as to avoid the two years in prison. Whatever her wishful pleas are, from all the facts thus far revealed, the opposite is true. Diane Lee is not only guilty of fraud but also it appears of what should be an additional charge of perjury. For any judge who is without political bias, this should be a slam dunk, guilty as charged, collect the money and send her off to jail case. Taiwan should not spend any more time on it.

Examine the facts. They are simple and clear. From the years 1994 to 2008 (fourteen years) Diane Lee served first as a Taipei City Councilor and then as a national legislator. Both of the positions that she held in those fourteen years are positions where dual citizenship is forbidden. In 2008, the US Department of State confirmed that Lee had valid US citizenship and it appears a valid US passport.

Citizenship, once gotten, must be formally revoked. Further, US passports are good for ten years, and then they have to be renewed. In that process one needs to take new photos, and sign new documents. These are not things that someone else whether it is a secretary or a relative can do for another person. If the US has confirmed that Lee's citizenship and passport are valid this means that at sometime in that fourteen year period, Lee either had to apply for citizenship and then passport, or if she had gained citizenship earlier, she had to renew her passport at least once, if not twice. Yet Lee is trying to claim that she was unaware that her citizenship and passport were still valid. To plead ignorance and/or claim that she presumed that they automatically expired with her taking office is bogus. Why would the applications for those official civil positions that Lee has held have questions on them inquiring if one held citizenship as well as a passport for another country? These are questions that Lee skipped and avoided answering.

There is a double irony here and cause enough that one should not sympathize with Lee. While Lee was in office she bitterly questioned and attacked the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice-mayor of Taipei on the same issues of dual citizenship. Further, Lee falsely accused Twu Shiung-jer of sexual crimes and tried to publicly humiliate him while he was in office. If one should feel sympathy, it should be for these people.

Finally, there remains the stark matter that Lee had to either obtain and/or renew her US passport some time in those fourteen years when she proclaims she thought it expired. There is a simple way to resolve this; let her produce, or allow the country to request from the USA, the records of her citizenship and her passports; these will give all the dates and details, but that would of course be tantamount to pleading guilty and in the courts of law one does not have to provide the evidence that will condemn oneself. What will the judge decide and will he/she add perjury to the charges?