Thu, Sep 04, 2014 - Page 1 News List

DPP, groups decry lack of action in Taitung graft case

By Jason Pan  /  Staff writer

Democratic Progressive Party legislators and civic group representatives criticize the judiciary at a news conference in Taipei yesterday for its slow handling of a corruption case involving Taitung County Commissioner Huang Chien-ting.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Legislators and representatives of civic groups yesterday berated the judiciary for what they said was six years of inaction over a corruption case involving Taitung County Commissioner Huang Chien-ting (黃健庭).

Huang was charged with corruption in 2008, when he was a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator.

He allegedly received bribes and kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies for helping secure drug supply contracts for public hospitals and clinics in Taitung County. Six years on, the remains in the preliminary stages in court, and Huang is running for re-election as county commissioner.

Taiwan Society president Chang Yen-hsien (張炎憲) told a news conference in Taipei that there were very unusual and suspicious circumstances surrounding Huang’s case, since the judiciary has not moved against him.

“It is a miscarriage of justice, because the judiciary appears to be showing favoritism to Huang, a KMT member,” Chang said.

“Who is manipulating our judiciary system behind the scenes?” Chang said, adding that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and National Security Council Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), a long-time top aide to Ma, might be responsible.

“Ma and King have the power to manipulate the judiciary. They have interfered to protect their political ally, Huang. It is very worrying to see such abuse of political power,” Chang said.

“How can people trust the judicial system? People see it becoming an instrument to protect KMT politicians and officials. By stalling legal proceeding, people affiliated with the KMT can escape prosecution and can get away with their pervasive corruption and profiteering actions,” he said.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) said the initial stage of most cases is wrapped up in 16 months.

“Why is this corruption case against Huang now in its sixth year? Why has there been no progress? Wu said.

Huang served out his term as legislator, was able to win election as Taitung County commissioner and is now running for a second term, which means “all Taitung residents could be losers in this affair because they might be voting for someone who could be found guilty of corruption,” Wu said.

DPP Legislator Wu Yi-chen (吳宜臻) criticized the judicial system for meting out different treatment based on political party affiliations.

“We keep on seeing the judiciary taking a delayed approach or no action when dealing with cases involving KMT and pan-blue camp people. However, the judiciary always moves swiftly in cases involving the DPP and the pan-green camp,” Wu said.

“The judicial system is showing its double standards and favoritism in this case. It has taken no action, no legal proceedings against Huang, although there is enough evidence against him. The judiciary is treating people of Taitung as fools,” she said.

Wu said it was obvious there has been a political pressure on judges against moving on this case.

“We see the KMT leaders subverting and destroying Taiwan’s judicial system. How long can the judiciary remain a tool of the KMT? The public will no longer have faith in the fairness and equality of our justice system,” she said.

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