Tue, Oct 16, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Shih says he's willing to do jail time

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Shih Ming-teh, leader of a campaign to depose President Chen Shui-bian last year, smiles on his way to Taipei District Court yesterday.

PHOTO: CNA

Shih Ming-teh (施明德), former chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said yesterday that he would not appeal if he were found guilty of leading an unregistered protest against the president during last year's Double Ten National Day.

Before appearing in the Taipei District Court yesterday afternoon, Shih told reporters that he would serve jail time immediately if the court were to convict him of violating the Assembly and Parade Law (集會遊行法).

However, he said that the 15 campaign organizers, who were also indicted for violating the law, would continue to push for the abolition of the "unconstitutional" and "flawed" law.

Taipei prosecutors indicted Shih and 15 campaign organizers on Aug. 3 for staging a rally outside Taipei Railway Station and "laying siege" to the Presidential Office on Oct. 10 last year without first applying for a permit from the Taipei City Police Department.

Prosecutors said the police had put up warning signs and broadcasted requests for the protesters to leave, but they refused to move.

Among those indicted with Shih were Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Kuo Su-chun (郭素春), People First Party Legislator Shen Chih-hwei (沈智慧), former KMT legislator and Taipei City Department of Cultural Affairs Director Lee Yong-ping (李永萍), Taipei City Research & Development Evaluation Commissioner Emile Sheng (盛治仁) and New Party Taipei City Councilor Lee Hsin (李新).

Nine others were named in the indictment: Chien Hsi-chieh, Liu Kun-li (劉坤鱧), Chang Fu-chung (張富忠), Jerry Fan (范可欽), Wang Li-ping (王麗萍), Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾), former New Party legislator Cheng Lung-shui (鄭龍水), former Chinese Unity Promotion Party chairman Lin Cheng-chieh (林正杰), Chinese Culture University professor Yao Li-ming (姚立明) and lawyer John Wei (魏千峰).

Shih also lashed out at the DPP yesterday, saying the party "might have forgotten that the party also opposed the law in the past."

"Taiwanese have suffered under Martial law and the Assembly and Parade Law during our pursuit of democracy and freedom," Shih said, criticizing the DPP for exploiting the law to bring him to trial.

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