Fri, Dec 03, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Legislative caucuses trade charges over indictment

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The pan-blue caucuses complained yesterday about the treatment of Hualien Prosecutor Lee Tsu-chun's (李子春) after his indictment of Ketagalan Institute vice president You Ying-lung (游盈隆) was annulled by State Public Prosecutor-General Wu Ying-chao (吳英昭).

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus, however, labeled Lee a hit man for the pan-blue camp.

Lee Tsu-chun (李子春) announ-ced on Wednesday that he was indicting You for violating the Public Officials Election and Recall Law (公職人員選罷法) because of a statement You made during the Hualien County commissioner by-election last year.

The indictment was later dis-missed by both Wu and the Hualien Prosecutors' office.

The pan-blue caucuses said the indictment was quashed because of political interference.

"This is the result of a scum party and shameless politicians without backbone suppressing officials," said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Huang Teh-fu (黃德福).

"Whether the indictment is valid should be a judgement made by the courts. The DPP should be condemned for its attempt to interfere with justice," Huang said.

PFP caucus whip Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) said that by law a prosecutor had the right to exercise his or her power independently, and did not have to obtain the approval of superiors before issuing an indictment.

Liu questioned whether Wu's action violated the prosecutor's right to act independently.

"Is it permissable for the state public prosecutor-general to annul a prosecutor's indictment without going through the appropriate district's prosecutor-general? Since this has happened right before the legislative election, is the state public prosecutor-general being pushed by top officials to interfere with justice?" Liu said.

"If the annulment is reasonable, then should the prosecutors ask the state public prosecutor-general for approval before issuing indictments in the future?" he said.

The DPP caucus fought back by attacking Lee.

"The KMT caucus whip calling the DPP `scum' is tasteless," said caucus whip Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯). "The KMT is endorsing Lee and attacking the Ministry of Justice and the state public prosecutor-general. This proves that Lee is the KMT's hit man."

Tsai said that the You indictment was not the first time Lee has handled cases according to his own ideology, adding that Lee appeared to be trying to use his power to manipulate the DPP's campaign.

Meanwhile, the KMT caucus was also upset yesterday by what it said was TV stations' excessive coverage of the DPP's campaign.

Huang said DPP's campaign rallies had been aired back to back two days ago even though the Central Election Commission has forbidden TV stations to provide full coverage of campaign activities at the same time. Huang, KMT caucus whip Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) and Legislator Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順) visited the commission yesterday to make their complaints in person.

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