Thu, Mar 16, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: Su Ying-kuei: lawyer-cum-vandal

Politics, apparently, has ways of making one losing one's senses, a problem suffered even by lawyers supposedly well-trained in rationality and pragmatism.

One example of this was on full display this week when former independent legislator Su Ying-kuei (蘇盈貴) and lawyer Wang Ching-fen (王清峰), with a video image provided by a maker of "amateur documentaries" known only as "Jason," accused the National Security Bureau of doctoring video footage to frame Chen Yi-hsiung (陳義雄), the lone suspect in the March 19, 2004, assassination attempt on President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮).

Su, a lawyer, then admitted he had no proof to substantiate his claim.

Indeed, he appeared rather confused and at a loss for words when attempting to explain his theory to reporters at a press conference on Tuesday. This didn't stop him from implying the judiciary was incompetent or corrupt, or both.

True, there are people who still harbor doubts about the March 19 shooting. But a lawyer should not be in the business of relaying rumors.

In Su's case, however, it seems too much to expect a calm assessment of all of the available evidence.

What Su has done is expose his ignorance of the judicial system and reveal his delight in trashing the efforts of prosecutors and police as he misleads the public and brings the judiciary into disrepute.

Su's credibility was already tarnished when he claimed in 2004 that two grand justices had called him seeking to influence his judgment on the March 19 Shooting Truth Investigation Special Committee Statute (三一九槍擊事件真相調查特別委員會條例).

But Su refused to name the justices. Though the fuss over the matter has died down, the reputations of the sitting grand justices remain vulnerable to such irresponsible behavior.

If Su is really so enthusiastic about this case, should he not then give his so-called "video footage" to the investigation team, rather than toying with the media by feeding the press a couple of pictures a day?

One can only assume that Su has larger motives.

Though he has declined to comment on whether he has his eye set on the year-end Kaohsiung mayoral race, it is only sensible to wonder whether bamboozling the public in this manner will bolster his political career.

If Su does run for mayor and wishes to impress the good people of Kaohsiung, he would do well to ponder US president Lyndon Johnson's reputed comment: "I may not know much, but I know the difference between chicken shit and chicken salad."

With the Criminal Investigation Bureau subsequently holding a press conference rejecting Su's claims, Su should put up or shut up: Give us some real evidence or apologize for irresponsible accusations and unscrupulous smearing of the country's judiciary.

The members of Chen Yi-hsiung's family are human. Su ought not to cash in on their suffering and vulnerabilities by putting them on the media frontline in the absence of credible evidence.

If Su destroys his credibility entirely, the nation will barely suffer. But the nation stands to lose much more if the judiciary's credibility, respect and authority are undermined as a result of Su and people like him being given any more oxygen than they deserve.

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