Sun, Aug 04, 2013 - Page 8 News List

Hung cover-up costs Ma, judiciary

By Paul Lin 林保華

It has already been a month since army corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘) died after being subjected to excessive disciplinary measures, but the truth behind his death has yet to be revealed. Evidently, Taiwan is already under the control of dark forces, and even in this case, which involved the loss of a human life, it seems that little justice is to be had.

Who is obstructing the truth? On the one hand, there are those who are directly involved in the case, and on the other are those who, while not actually involved, stand to have their careers affected by any revelations. The former group consists of a few individuals, the latter is a cabal extending all the way from senior officers in the military to the president himself. These people are one huge interest group and the main reason that the truth is difficult to get to.

That the Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office is cooperating in the investigation is little reason for confidence given the track record of Taiwan’s judiciary. This is officialdom closing ranks on an even grander scale.

If the authorities had ever intended to get at the truth, as Taiwan University Hospital physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said, they should have, right from the beginning, interviewed the people involved separately. Then they would have been able to get to the bottom of it all straight away. The CCTV footage could have been used as evidence and, even if the surveillance cameras had been on the blink at the time, witness testimony would have been sufficient.

When the judiciary in Taiwan has decided to cover for a certain interest group, its weapon of choice is delaying the investigation, allowing the scene of the crime to be compromised, and giving enough time to people involved to collude and to destroy evidence.

On his SET-TV news program, journalist Huang Yueh-hung (黃越宏) pressed chief military prosecutor Major General Tsao Chin-sheng (曹金生) on when exactly they had decided to begin investigating personnel. Tsao would not say. It is difficult to know whether his intransigence was his own response, or whether he was acting on instructions from his superiors.

This covering-up does not only apply to the Hung case. In last year’s corruption case involving former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世), the investigation proceeded in much the same way. The judiciary’s delaying tactic was to apply pressure to the plaintiffs and to choose not to investigate unless there was irrefutable evidence. It went as far as to intimidate the plaintiffs to ensure they kept their mouths shut.

This is what happened to Chen Chi-hsiang (陳啟祥), who was said to have bribed Lin. It happened to Democratic Progressive Party Central Executive Committee member Hung Chih-kune (洪智坤) when Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) became caught up in the investigation.

This also happened in the initial stages of the current investigation with discharged soldier Liu Hsuan-yang (劉烜揚).

Dragging out the investigation gave the people involved in the Lin corruption investigation time to collude and destroy the evidence. They were let off lightly with no chance of pursuing other people involved.

Officials familiar with the KMT’s political culture are good at knowing how to read situations and people: They know what President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is thinking and what it is they should do.

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