Sun, Nov 23, 2003 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: Leave investigating to prosecutors

The melodrama surrounding the Special Report VCDs reached a new phase when PFP lawmaker Chiu Yi (邱毅) publicly apologized to cartoonist Yu-fu (魚夫) and Soochow University professor of politics Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) for wrongfully accusing the pair of playing a part in the making of Special Report. However, Chiu continued to vow he will get to the bottom of things even if it means quitting the Legislative Yuan. Upon hearing this, one cannot help but call out to Chiu that "enough is enough." Let the Prosecutors' Office take over the investigation before more innocent bystanders are hurt in Chiu's alleged pursuit of the "secret mastermind" behind Special Report.

Chiu's apology is reminiscent of the tearful apology made by PFP lawmaker Diane Lee (李慶安) when the truth finally came out that she had erroneously accused the then acting director-general of the Department of Health (DOH), Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲), of sexually harassing a man.

The stories of Chiu and Lee highlight a problem -- a large number, if not a majority, of Taiwan's lawmakers for some unknown reason seem to hold the delusion that they have the blood of detectives in them.

The standardized script goes as follows:

A press conference is held in which the lawmaker names the names of supposed wrongdoers. The lawmaker then puts on a heroic one-person show in which he or she plays the role of Sherlock Holmes hot on the trail of evidence of the crime, with herds of reporters and TV cameras following him or her like bloodhounds.

When the truth finally comes out that the wrong person had been named, then comes the grand finale in which a tearful apology is made.

Mistakes of this sort hurt not only the persons wrongfully accused but also their accusers. Before her fiasco involving Twu, Lee was favored as the next pan-blue mayoral candidate for Taipei City. With her credibility and image tarnished by the incident, she has a long way to go.

It is amazing that Chiu has not learned from the harsh lesson of his colleague -- and he used to be a professor. Chiu has indicated he is willing to leave the Legislative Yuan after this. Well, he may not have much of a political career left anyway, in view of the long list of people he has accused and sued thus far without any evidence to back him up.

He has many more apologies to make in the immediate future.

Moreover, no number of apologies can take away or make up for the injuries suffered by the persons wrongfully fingered. In a society whose politics are as polarized as are Taiwan's, it is not surprising that so many people have become victims of harassment and threats by radical pan-blue supporters.

The sad thing is that although the Prosecutors' Office has already begun investigating the libel case, and several of the actors who appeared in Special Report have been summoned to give testimony, Chiu intends to continue with his own investigation.

Does he seriously expect to get anwhere with an investigation carried out by him and a dozen other PFP lawmakers, with reporters and cameras following them everywhere? If there is really any so-called secret mastermind behind Special Report, he or she has destroyed all evidence after the charade put on by Chiu. Besides, why does the pan-blue camp insist that there is such a secret mastermind, or even an entire crime ring, when the people and the company that made the VCDs have already stepped forward?

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