Thu, Nov 13, 2008 - Page 1 News List

US, Dutch officials to take closer look at Taiwan’s judiciary

By Richard Hazeldine And Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTERS

The US expects Taiwan to adopt a “transparent, fair and impartial” approach in the corruption proceedings against former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), American Institute in Taiwan Director Stephen Young said yesterday.

“We believe it needs to be transparent, fair and impartial,” Young said at his biannual media briefing in Taipei.

“Considering that it is conducted in that manner, it can then strengthen the confidence both here and around the world in your democracy,” he said.

“The only thing I would say is that not only Taiwan, but your friends around the world will be watching this process very closely,” Young said.

Young said he had confidence in Taiwan’s democracy, but urged for more dialogue between the government and the opposition.

He also said that Taiwan-US relations would remain “strong and enduring” under the leadership of US president-elect Barack Obama.

In related news, the foreign affairs spokesmen of the ruling and opposition parties in the Netherlands on Tuesday expressed concern to Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen during a session of the Dutch parliament about the spate of detentions in Taiwan.

Maarten Haverkamp of the ruling Christian Democrat Party and Hans van Baalen of the opposition People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy asked the foreign minister if he was aware that “Chen and a number of politicians of the DPP [Democratic Progressive Party] have been arrested on suspicion of abuse of power while in power.”

Their prepared list of questions also asked Verhagen whether he planned to brief parliament on events in Taiwan so that its members could gain a better understanding of the situation.

They also asked the foreign minister whether he was prepared to use all available channels to “urge the present administration led by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to apply the basic principles of the rule of law in a democracy when prosecuting those who on juridical grounds are suspected of abuse of their position while in power.”

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