Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers and former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who is currently in detention on charges of corruption and money laundering, have reacted angrily to a skit recently performed by members of the judiciary, which they believe was intended to mock Chen.
At an event held to celebrate Law Day (司法節) at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office (TDPO) on Sunday, several members of the judiciary put on a comic skit for the amusement of an audience of judges, prosecutors and attorneys.
The skit portrayed a court hearing in which someone accused of a narcotics offense tried to delay the case by claiming to be HIV positive and saying that she wanted to die together with the judge. When the judge ordered the defendant to be held in detention and was put in handcuffs, the defendant held up her cuffed hands in the air, crying, “Judicial persecution! The court police are beating me! I demand to have my injuries examined!”
The audience of legal professionals reportedly found the skit very funny because the “defendant’s” acts of displaying her handcuffs and shouting slogans closely resembled gestures made by Chen when he was taken into detention in November.
The skit was written by TDPO chief prosecutor Ching Chi-jen (慶啟人), who traveled to Switzerland and Singapore last year to investigate the money-laundering allegations against former president Chen, while the accused was played by another Taipei prosecutor, Chang An-chen (張安箴).
On hearing reports of the skit, DPP legislators said it was meant to mock Chen and that such a frivolous performance brought the judiciary into disrepute.
Speaking through his lawyer, Cheng Wen-long (鄭文龍), Chen accused the prosecutors of “gloating” about his case and called their behavior “unimaginable.”