Tue, Nov 23, 2004 - Page 3 News List

High court won't probe `soft coup' allegations

COMPLAINT NEEDED A court spokesman said the president's remarks do not involve a threat to national security, so there would not be a probe unless a lawsuit was filed

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan High Court Prosecu-tors' Office yesterday announced that President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) "soft coup" allegations do not concern offences against the internal security of the state so its prosecutors will not begin an investigation unless somebody files a lawsuit.

"The president was complaining that certain retired generals were persuading some serving ones to resign or fake illness and check into hospitals after the presidential election," said Chen Chuwei (陳追), spokesman for the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors' Office.

"However, such behavior does not constitute a violation of the Criminal Code. So we will not begin an investigation into the matter," Chen Chuwei said.

The Taiwan High Court Prosecutors' Office is responsible for investigating alleged crimes against national security.

The "violation" that Chen was talking about is Article 100 of the Criminal Code, which states: "A person who commits an overt act with intent to destroy the organization of the state, seize state territory, by illegal means change the Constitution or overthrow the government shall be punished with imprisonment for not less than seven years; a ringleader shall be punished with imprisonment for life."

Chen Chuwei said prosecutors would launch an investigation if somebody filed a complaint but prosecutors might still decide to end the probe since there is no defendant.

Over the past two weeks the president has told campaign rallies that some retired generals had tried to convince high-ranking military personnel to resign or fake illness after the election. The president called the attempt a "soft coup."

He identified former defense minister Chiang Chung-ling (蔣仲苓) as one of the retired generals, an allegation that Chiang has denied.

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