The Taipei Bar Association yesterday expressed regret over the decision by the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office to refer former president Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) lawyer Cheng Wen-lung (鄭文龍) to a disciplinary committee.
Despite a resolution approved by the Taipei Bar Association last month not to take any disciplinary action against Cheng over his handling of Chen's case, the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office on Wednesday decided that Cheng had violated legal ethics and his case has been submitted to a disciplinary committee consisting of three judges, one prosecutor and five lawyers for review.
Taipei Bar Association chairman Liu Chih-peng (劉志鵬) yesterday reiterated that Cheng had not violated any regulations during the case, adding that the bar had found Cheng's actions were not aimed at helping Chen to escape, destroy evidence nor share testimony information with other witnesses or defendants in the case, and that he was merely doing his job as a lawyer.
However, Chief Prosecutor Hou Ming-huang (侯名皇), after reviewing recordings of Cheng's visits with Chen during the latter's detention and material containing Cheng relaying statements from Chen, concluded on Wednesday that Cheng's remarks that “the judiciary has reached a decision prior to the trial” and that the judiciary “indicted Chen on [their superiors'] directive” had violated principles of legal ethics.
Hou said Cheng's remarks constituted a malicious attack on the judiciary, did not fulfill his responsibility to promote democracy and maintain a good social standing and had obstructed prosecutors' attempts to investigate and establish the facts of the case.
On Dec. 5, the Taipei Bar Association stated that the Attorney Act (律師法) and legal ethics did not preclude a lawyer from talking to the press. Making reference to legislation in the US and other developed countries, the association said it was the responsibility of the bar association, and not the Ministry of Justice, to determine the extent to which lawyers could talk to outsiders. The information Cheng relayed to the press was unrelated to Chen's case and did not constitute a violation of the Attorney Act, the bar association said.
In response to the move made by the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office, Cheng said prosecutors were ignoring the rights of lawyers to defend themselves, as well as the resolution passed by the bar association. He said it was unreasonable for prosecutors to act as both a player and the referee.
In related news, two senior judges found themselves in a war of words with two Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators over Chen's case.
Shortly after the Taipei District Court's decision last week to change the presiding judge in Chen's case, Huang Jui-hua (黃瑞華), president of the Ilan District Court, and Shilin District Court Judge Hung Ying-hua (洪英花) published articles criticizing the decision and panning the procedures as flawed.
On Thursday, KMT Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) accused Hung of being Chen's “secret guard in the judiciary” during a political talk show on TVBS.
Moments later, the show's host told the audience that Hung had just called in and asked Tsai to apologize for the remark, or else she would sue Tsai on Monday Tsai refused to apologize.
KMT Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅), another guest on the show, claimed that Huang has been called a “judicial Rambo” because she presided over a corruption case against former Pingtung County commissioner Wu Tse-yuan (伍澤元) and had passed a heavy sentence.
Chiu said that Huang had learned that former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) had given Wu a loan and that Wu had leaked the information to Democratic Progressive Party legislators to make it public.
Huang yesterday dismissed Chiu's allegations as “bullshit.”
In response, Chiu said he planned to sue Huang over the response.
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
Americans awoke yesterday to charred and glass-strewn streets in dozens of cities after another night of unrest fueled by rage over the mistreatment of African Americans at the hands of police, who responded to the violence with tear gas and rubber bullets. Tens of thousands marched peacefully through streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died on Monday last week after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing. However, many demonstrations sank into chaos as night fell: Vehicles and businesses were torched. The words “I can’t breathe” were
EXTRA INVITATIONS: Russia, Australia, South Korea and India would be asked to a later summit dedicated to countering China, Donald Trump said US President Donald Trump has been forced to cancel a planned face-to-face summit of G7 leaders this month and now wants to host an expanded meeting in September dedicated to countering China to which Russian President Vladimir Putin would be invited. Trump on Saturday announced that he had canceled the June meeting, which he had billed as a symbol of the US “transitioning back to greatness,” after German Chancellor Angela Merkel told him in a telephone call that she saw the summit in Washington as a health risk. Hundreds of security staff, journalists and officials also attend the two-day summits. Reports suggest