Tue, Dec 16, 2008 - Page 8 News List

[LETTERS]

Citizenship lesson for Lee

I was shocked to learn that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Diane Lee (李慶安) does not seem to have even a basic understanding of US law regarding her citizenship. In fact, she seemed to try to confuse voters with misleading statements about US law, just as President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) did a few months ago.

The US State Department’s Web site provides the following: A person wishing to renounce his or her US citizenship must voluntarily and with intent to relinquish US citizenship:

1. appear in person before a US consular or diplomatic officer, in a foreign country (normally at a US embassy or consulate); and

2. sign an oath of renunciation.

“Renunciations that do not meet the conditions described above have no legal effect. Because of the provisions of section 349(a)(5), Americans cannot effectively renounce their citizenship by mail, through an agent, or while in the United States. In fact, US courts have held certain attempts to renounce US citizenship to be ineffective on a variety of grounds, as discussed below,” it says.

I hope Taiwanese will wake up and not allow themselves to be fooled by the KMT.

JIM CHUNG

Southfield, Michigan

KMT’s topsy-turvy justice

There is something strange about the KMT’s interpretation of justice. During the announcement of former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) indictment, the party said: “He [Chen] kept criticizing the justice system and showed no regret whatsoever about what he had committed.”

Ironically, Chen’s criticism of the justice system echoes similar comments by Ma, who has said: “Former president [Chen] was actually indicted two years ago, but he was not formally indicted because he was protected by constitutional immunity.”

This was when the Special Investigation Panel (SIP) was still building its case against Chen without indicting him. As Chen was held incommunicado, he was unable to make a statement about such comments.

Ma then said: “Also, as a lawyer and as a person who very much respects the Constitution and the separation of power[s], I never interfere in any judicial cases.”

Someone should inform Ma that he just told everyone that it was OK to indict Chen, because the official word from Ma is that Chen was indicted two years ago.

Oh, and he should also be reminded that he’s not actually a lawyer.

As for the “Showed no regrets whatsoever about what he had committed”: How would it have looked if Chen had showed regret for what he allegedly committed? It would have been an admission of guilt, which would imply that the SIP was expecting Chen to plead guilty during the trial.

In other words, the justice system Chen is criticizing assumes that he is guilty before he has had a chance to defend himself.

The only reason the SIP sought to continue detaining Chen was so that it could continue to record all the conversations between Chen and his defense lawyer. Now that Chen’s defense strategy can be discussed in private, it means the SIP will actually have to do its job properly.

MICHAEL GRUBER

Monterey, California

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