Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) politicians should tone down their attacks against former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) since he has already been found not guilty in two of the three major cases against him, Chen’s office manager Chen Sung-shan (陳淞山) told a gathering of pro--independence organizations in Taipei yesterday.
The Taipei District Court found the former president not guilty of bribery charges on Friday, saying in a ruling that there was not enough evidence to convict Chen Shui-bian with taking money to facilitate two high-profile bank mergers.
The ruling, which also cleared Chen Shui-bian’s wife and 19 other co-defendants, has come under harsh criticism from KMT politicians, who have since called the ruling “a travesty,” and demanded that judge Chou Chan-chun (周占春) resign.
Expressing his support for the verdict, Chen Sung-shan said it was only a matter of time before Chen Shui-bian would be cleared of the other charges he faces, which include accusations that he committed forgery, embezzled state funds and laundered money through Swiss bank accounts.
However, Chen Sung-shan said his optimism was tempered by concern that “no judge would be willing to hand another not guilty verdict to the ex-president if these attacks on the judiciary continue.”
He said that the KMT remarks were based on political considerations.
“All we are asking is that Chen Shui-bian receive a fair and unbiased ruling from the courts. History will be the judge of whether the [former president] was truly guilty,” he said.
Chen Shui-bian’s office and dozens of his supporters, some of whom are currently running for city councilor seats on the DPP ticket, are planning to hold a series of rallies nationwide this month to drum up support for the former president. The former president is currently incarcerated in Taipei Detention Center in Tucheng (土城).
Welcoming DPP politicians to take part in the events, Chen Sung-shan said he hoped the party’s five mayoral candidates would “bravely and confidently” come out to support the former president.
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