Tue, Jan 13, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Chen Chao-min not guilty: court

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan High Court yesterday found Minister of National Defense Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏) not guilty in a slander case brought by former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), upholding an earlier district court ruling.

Yesterday’s ruling was final.

A panel of three judges in the Taiwan High Court said at its judgment that Chen Chao-min’s remarks made in the legislature in his capacity as minister of national defense were not grounds for legal action against him.

“Chen Chao-min’s remarks were based on the 319 Shooting Truth Investigation Special Committee’s conclusions,” high court spokesman Wen Yao-yuan (溫耀源) said.

“There is no evidence that Chen Chao-min violated any of the former president’s rights,” he said.

The case stemmed from comments made by the minister in May during a legislative meeting.

During a conversation with Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯), Chen Chao-min said “the shooting case must have been staged” as the former president’s injuries were not caused by the bullets found by police.

Wen said the judges ruled that what Chen Chao-min said to Tsai was basically in line with the committee’s final report.

Chen Shui-bian had complained in previous hearings that Chen Chao-min had slandered him because the former president had turned down Chen Chao-min for a Cabinet position during his presidency.

On Oct. 27, the Taipei District Court ruled in favor of Chen Chao-min and said he had not intended to insult Chen Shui-bian.

The former president then filed an appeal and attended every hearing in person, except for the last hearing on Dec. 29 as he was preparing for his own detention hearing at the Taipei District Court the same day.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA

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