Sat, Nov 15, 2008 - Page 3 News List

DPP urges probe into Su's arrest

JUSTICE OR POLITICS?DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng filed an appeal with the Control Yuan to investigate the arrest of Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday appealed to the Control Yuan to investigate the Nov. 3 arrest of Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬), who is protesting her detention with a hunger strike, to stem what they allege is Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) manipulation of the judiciary.

DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) said that the manner in which prosecutors handled Su’s detention disregarded laws and regulations and was in violation of procedural justice.

“Before Su was questioned, prosecutors had already prepared a press release saying they would file a request to detain her. It also hinted that she was involved in bribery … This shows that prosecutors are arresting DPP officials for no reason,” Gao said.

That the court then decided to grant Su bail demonstrated that there was no reason for prosecutors to have arrested Su in the first place, Gao added.

Gao said that he couldn’t help but believe that the decision to detain Su was “under instruction from senior government officials” as the court made a decision later the same day to keep Su in custody following her rejection of the bail terms.

Citing former Examination Yuan president Hsu Shui-teh (?w), a senior KMT official, that “the court is owned by the KMT,” Gao called on the Control Yuan to launch an investigation into Su’s case to prohibit the KMT from using the judiciary for political gain.

Gao was accompanied by Su’s brother, Su Chih-hao (蘇治灝), and Wellington Koo (顧立雄), a lawyer, when filing the appeal. They were received by Lee Ping-nan (李炳南), a Control Yuan member.

Koo said he hoped the Control Yuan would look into possible irregularities and dereliction of duty by the Yunlin District Prosecutors’ Office as it was the only institution able to perform “checks and balances” against any abuse of power by prosecutors.

Meanwhile, in the wake of hunger strikes staged against the judiciary by Su, former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Chiayi County Commissioner Chen Ming-wen (陳明文), KMT lawmakers called on the DPP to stop politicizing judicial cases.

KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) said that the hunger strikes were all aimed at turning judicial cases into a political issue, alleging that the KMT was taking revenge on the DPP via the judiciary.

“He [Chen Shui-bian] is not a political prisoner. He is involved in legal cases. He has to face the problem squarely. If the case can be resolved by means of a hunger strike, can we be called a democratic country?” Lai said.

KMT Legislator Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) called it “immoral” that Chen Shui-bian should go on hunger strike and issue a 10-point statement on Thursday announcing “the death of the judiciary.”

Hunger strikes by DPP officials had become a “political storm” that would do great damage to the country’s judiciary, said KMT Legislator Tsao Erh-chang (曹爾忠).

“Does the DPP really have the heart to harm the judiciary’s image and independence?” Tsao said.

Whether prosecutors had detained the DPP politicians in order to get confessions, as the DPP has accused, and whether it was appropriate to handcuff Chen Shui-bian were questions worthy of discussion, but that does not give the DPP the right to politicize the cases, Tsao said.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) called on the KMT and the DPP to put economics ahead of politics, as the sluggish economy was an increasingly serious problem.

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