The president says that he asked why the prosecutor-
general did not personally hold the first press conference in response to the matter. Such details are only for people who want to manipulate things. For the nation’s leader to ask about transcripts and targets of wiretapping shows that he was not just asking about the case out of concern, but was trying to launch a political vendetta against the legislative speaker.
If this does not mean that Ma manipulated our judiciary using illegally gained information, or that he has not endangered constitutional order through interfering with the legislature, then what has he done?
Reporters also asked Ma how he felt about being called as a witness by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office. This question was redundant because Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 627 offered an explanation in 2007 when it was released. The interpretation states: “Presidential criminal immunity does not extend to the evidentiary investigation and preservation directed at the president for a criminal case involving another person.”
Ma had no choice but to accept the request from the prosecutors. The only difference between Ma and a member of the public is that when a president serves as a witness in a criminal case, the regulations stipulated in Article 304 of the Code of Civil Procedure (民事訴訟法) are applicable.
It states: “Where the witness is the president of the country, the examination shall be conducted at the witnesses location.” This is only done to show respect to the president.
Everyone is paying close attention to the allegations against Wang. The only way for public trust to be restored in our judiciary is for the prosecutors to treat it just like any other case and to find out, using due process, why the prosecutor-general personally reported on a case under investigation, why the president met with him, why the president made details of the case known to others and why he conspired to use the information as ammunition for a political vendetta. This is the least that can be asked of the prosecutors.
However, laws cannot solve the problem of the national leader treating the Constitution as if it were his own personal plaything. This is about principles and is something that no Taiwanese can afford to ignore.
It is also about a president no longer fit for the job. Failure to mete out punishment would be tantamount to tacitly consenting to people trampling all over the judiciary. Ma has made comments along these lines himself in the past about other people. Perhaps Ma can now reflect on how these things relate to him.
Translated by Drew Cameron