Wed, Nov 12, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Chen Shui-bian chained

HANDCUFFED Prosecutors requested that the former president be remanded in custody, saying he might tamper with evidence in the bribery case against him

By Jimmy Chuang, Ko Shu-ling, Flora Wang and Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTERS, WITH AGENCIES

“Chen Yunlin had a bad time in Taiwan ... so Ma Ying-jeou wants to put me in jail as a sacrifice to appease China. I am very honored and proud to play such a role,” the former president said.

“I will not be imprisoned in vain and I will continue to strive ... Long live Taiwan democracy. Long live Taiwan independence,” he said.

The Presidential Office said yesterday it would respect the court’s ruling in Chen Shui-bian’s lawsuit, but dismissed his allegation that Ma had ordered his detention.

Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) declined to comment on the legal aspects of the case, but denied that Ma had ordered Chen detained.

“We have publicly renounced such groundless allegations before,” he said. “Chen’s legal situation has never been discussed at the daily meetings of the Presidential Office, the Executive Yuan, the KMT or the KMT legislative caucus.”

Chen Shui-bian said on Monday evening that he expected to be detained yesterday when he responded to a subpoena to testify in court because he believed Ma had ordered his detention, adding that he would exercise his right to remain silent.

The KMT yesterday slammed Chen Shui-bian for drawing a parallel between his overseas fund and that of Sun Yat-sen (孫中山), which the KMT regards as the founding father of the Republic of China.

KMT Spokesman Lee Chien-jung (李建榮) said the analogy was ludicrous, because Sun had saved the money overseas to build a new republic, while Chen Shui-bian pocketed government money and wired it abroad for personal gain.

Lee made the remarks during a panel discussion held by the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Library Foundation on the eve of Sun’s 142nd birthday.

Lee said Chen Shui-bian had often mentioned Sun during his decades-long political career.

He did so on Sept. 18, 1995, when he said during an interview with the Chinese-language United Daily News that he admired Sun’s selflessness and that Sun was someone he would like to emulate.

Chen Shui-bian admitted in August this year that he “did something that was not allowed by the law,” and claimed that he had been inspired by Sun to wire some of his money overseas, Lee said.

Maa Shaw-chang (馬紹章), executive director of the KMT’s think tank, the National Policy Foundation, said that while Sun raised funds to overthrow the Qing Dynasty, Chen Shui-bian never made any effort to establish a new republic during his two terms in office, but instead embezzled money.

While Sun’s legacy was one of ethical assets, that of Chen Shui-bian was an ethical liability, Maa said.

KMT caucus secretary-general Chang Sho-wen (張碩文) yesterday accused the former president of attempting to discredit the judicial system.

“Chen was trying to take advantage of Taiwanese people’s kindheartedness and politicize his corruption case,” Chang said at a press conference.

“But the whole world knows that he is under investigation for corruption,” Chang said.

KMT Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), who also attended the conference, defended the impartiality of the prosecutors, saying that Taiwan obeyed the rule of law and that there was no way the judiciary could be influenced by any political camp.

When asked for comment, KMT Legislator Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) cheered the prosecutors’ decision to seek to detain the former president, saying that people should set off firecrackers in celebration and that Chen Shui-bian’s attack on at the judiciary was “ridiculous.”

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