Tue, Apr 17, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Prosecutors drop sedition lawsuit against premier

By Chien Li-chung and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Premier William Lai, front right carrying a decorative paper gold ingot, attends a ceremony in Taoyuan County yesterday to pray for the safety of workers and the success of a new project to construct a siltation prevention tunnel around Shihmen Reservoir’s Amuping Wharf.

Photo: Lee Jung-ping, Taipei Times

The Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office has dropped a sedition case against Premier William Lai (賴清德) filed in October last year by a group led by New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) after Lai called himself a “Taiwanese independence worker.”

The office said there was no evidence that Lai had committed sedition based on his declaration.

Yok had accused Lai, as the head of the nation’s highest administrative body, of moving from “secretly” to “openly” advocating independence.

Lai’s open advocacy of independence puts the public at risk and could take Taiwan to the brink of war, which is why he had to sue Lai, Yok said at the time.

The New Party was fulfilling its responsibility as an opposition party, he said.

Lawyer Chen Li-ling (陳麗玲), who accompanied the group in filing the complaint, said that Article 53 of the Constitution states that the Executive Yuan is the nation’s highest administrative organ.

“In his capacity as the head of the highest administrative organ, Lai called himself a ‘political worker who advocates Taiwanese independence,’” Chen said at the time.

“Due to Lai’s comments on Taiwanese independence, civil servants might carry out actions to promote Taiwanese independence, including [changes to] curriculum guidelines and desinicization,” she said.

“They are already gradually realizing Taiwanese independence,” she added.

“The Criminal Code states that behavior that destroys the organization of the state or changes the Constitution is [an act] of sedition,” Chen said.

“Due to Lai’s discussion of Taiwanese independence, public property and lives have been endangered,” Chen said.

Taiwan faces military threats from China, Chen said, adding that Lai reiterated his stance on Taiwanese independence several times, which she said “might put Taiwan at risk of war.”

Chen yesterday filed another charge of sedition against Lai at the Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office.

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