Sat, Mar 14, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Prosecutor videos unclear: Chen's office

SEE IT ON DVD A spokeswoman for the former president said that videos provided to them by the prosecution contained evidence of intimidation and manipulation

By Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Most of the video tapes of prosecutors questioning defendants in the corruption case against former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) should be inadmissible as evidence, Ketagalan Foundation executive director Sue Wang (王時思) said yesterday.

The poor quality of the recordings and their apparent manipulation by prosecutors means they should not be accepted by the court, she said at a press conference.

Wang, speaking on behalf of Chen’s office, showed a clip of a recording in which voices were either muffled or muted. Wang said the footage also clearly proved that during the interrogation process, prosecutors used intimidation, threats and manipulation to get defendants to comply.

Wang said the office chose to disclose some of the footage yesterday because the court set yesterday as a deadline for Chen’s legal team to provide evidence in rebuttal.

Wang urged the court to extend the date because the office had only thoroughly reviewed less than 50 of the 300 DVDs authorities had given them.

One of the clips showed Special Investigation Panel (SIP) prosecutor Chu Chao-liang (朱朝亮) repeatedly asking defendant Tsai Ming-tse (蔡銘哲) to “think carefully about your answers.”

At one point, Chu said to the defendant “I am sincere when I say I would put you down for attempted bribery, but I am afraid that I will have to make sure all the accounts are clearly settled. Therefore at the moment, I am basically giving you a warning.”

During the same session Chu told Tsai: “You should offer up [the information] that I am hinting at. You can say this [money] belongs to [former first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍)] or you can say it belongs to you. There is a big difference in significance between the two.”

Wang also showed a clip of a female prosecutor questioning former Kaohsiung City mayor and vice premier Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭). The entire session was muted even though the images were clear.

“We are asking the court to restart the hearings without using these videos as evidence,” Wang said, panning the prosecutors for abusing their power during the interrogation process.

Wang said Chen planned to take legal action against some of the prosecutors for coercing witnesses.

Also yesterday, the SIP said Huang Fang-yen (黃芳彥) the former first family’s physician, may be put on the wanted list if he does not return to Taiwan for questioning.

Huang was listed as a defendant a week ago for allegedly helping to launder money.

Responding to speculation that the prosecutors’ failure to arrest Huang was because Prosecutor-General Chen Tsung-ming (陳聰明) was friends with him, SIP spokesperson Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南) said: “The [SIP’s] handling of the case complies with legal procedures. There have been no delays.”

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SHELLEY HUANG

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