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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Should you sign a petition to demand an immediate release of the former president of Taiwan?

You have to judge it for yourself based on the following facts.

Fact 1:

In Taiwan, the original judge on Chen Shui-bian's case had twice ruled that the prosecutors could not hold Chen Shui-bian in jail before the trial began. What happened? The prosecutors requested and got a new judge who would grant their request - a request that would later be ruled unconstitutional.  After it was ruled that the holding of Chen Shui-bian in jail was unconstitutional, the newly appointed judge still allowed this jailing to proceed because the "unconstitutional ruling" would not go into effect months later.

Fact 2:

In Taiwan, the prosecutors openly mocked the former President as guilty in an unprofessional skit at a party which was attended by members of the judiciary. Instead of reprimanding these prosecutors, the Minister of Justice laughed it off and then excused it as "just in fun."

Fact 3:

In Taiwan, the prosecutors of Chen Shui-bian swore that they would resign if they did not find him guilty. Instead of swearing to find the truth of the situation, they had their minds made up before the trial.

Fact 4:

In Taiwan, the prosecutors had also been able to listen to and record all conversations between Chen and his lawyers; they basically wanted the right to eavesdrop on attorney/client privilege and know any and all strategies of the defendant before the trial.

Therefore, we see in Taiwan, in the case of former president Chen Shui-Bian:

a judge not denouncing but more collaborating with the prosecutors

the defense being denied full and un-monitored access to their client

a Minister of Justice not repudiating staff for violations but condoning them

What did the president Ma Ying Jeou’s former mantor at Harvard Law School have to hint on the erosion of justice in Taiwan?

Read Professor Jerome A. Cohen’s recent article “Lesson in Integrity for All”, below are the excerpt from the beginning of the article.

“The media on the mainland and in Taiwan took little note of last week’s sensational federal court decision in Washington that voided the criminal corruption conviction of former US senator Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator in American history.”

“Yet the case has profound implications for efforts on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to stamp out corruption while fostering a rule of law based on the adversarial system of criminal justice.”

“The adversarial system is based on equal combat between prosecutors and defense counsel before a neutral court. Their combat is governed by rules designed to promote fairness and accuracy.”

Please judge for yourself if you should sign a petition based on your belief of the Article 7 to 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and your observation of the legitimacy of the legal process.

Just your name and location, e-mail address is not necessary.

Cross-posted at the Taiwanesegreek.

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