A group of former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration officials who have been proven innocent in corruption cases said yesterday that they planned to file charges against prosecutors of abuse of power.
The self-proclaimed “judicial victims” told a press conference that prosecutorial abuse had no place in a democracy and their cases reflected widespread political persecution after the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) return to power in 2008.
“Some prosecutors, who were a tool for the authoritarian regime in the Martial Law era and have kept serving those in power, were never held accountable for their malicious prosecutions and frivolous litigation,” said Wellington Koo (顧立雄), who was among more than 20 lawyers who volunteered for the movement, called “Seeking Justice in Taiwan.”
Organizers of the movement, including various civic groups and activists, listed at least 14 legal cases in which one or more former officials in the DPP administration were charged with corruption, but were ruled innocent.
The victims and lawyers listed three flaws in the current prosecution system — serious violations of prosecutorial obligations of fairness and impartiality, regular breaches of due judicial procedures, and a lack of checks and balances against prosecutors who abuse their power.
Those involved in the cases include former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), former Tainan mayor Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財), former deputy foreign minister Michael Kao (高英茂), former premier Yu Shyi-kun, former presidential office deputy secretary-general Chen Che-nan (陳哲男) and DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲), among others.
John Chen (陳傳岳), chief lawyer of the voluntary lawyer group, said they would file accusations, lawsuits or private prosecutions — depending on the circumstances of each case — to the district prosecutors’ offices as early as next week.
The lawyers had completed their reviews of five cases, which involved former presidential adviser Wu Li-pei (吳澧培), former legislator Wu Ming-min (吳明敏), former National Science Council deputy minister Hsieh Ching-chih (謝清志), Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬) and Hsu, and planned to file a new lawsuit every week, Chen said.
The victims told the press conference that they had suffered enormously, despite having been ruled innocent, with Wu Li-pei saying that his integrity was questioned by his grandsons, while Wu Ming-min saying that the lawsuit had harmed his career and family.
“We talk about transitional justice a lot, but it cannot be done 20 or 30 years from now. It has to be done now. We cannot tolerate a continuing situation in Taiwan where there are always victims, but no perpetrators,” said Michelle Wang (王美琇), president of Friends of Beanstalk Association (綠色逗陣之友會), one of the organizers of the movement.
That was why the names of 17 prosecutors, including Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘), were listed on several signs shown to the media, which detailed prosecutors in charge of the allegedly unfair cases.
Lee Hung-hsi (李鴻禧), a law professor and a former presidential adviser, went so far as to describe the prosecutors as “social trash,” who sacrificed justice for their own careers and political ideology.
“To me, that also represents a failure in Taiwan’s law education and a law professor like myself must be responsible for the fact that more than 70 percent of people say they do not find our judicial system trustworthy,” Lee said.