Former Academia Sinica president Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) yesterday added his voice to criticism of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) actions against Legislative Yuan Speaker Wan Jin-pyng (王金平), saying it was disappointing to see Ma’s features “constantly distorted by hate.”
On Aug. 30 Special Investigation Division (SID) Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) informed Ma of alleged influence peddling involving Wang, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), former minister of justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫), High Prosecutors’ Office Head Prosecutor Chen Shou-huang (陳守煌) and High Prosecutors’ Office prosecutor Lin Shiow-tao (林秀濤).
Speaking at a seminar organized by Taiwan Brain Trust yesterday, Lee said the judiciary system needed reform.
Ma’s handling of the current crisis was not appropriate, Lee said.
The situation involved two different investigations, one in which Ker was sentenced to six months in prison for breach of trust and violating the Business Accounting Act (商業會計法), and the other where Ker was suspected of having accepted bribes and peddling influence in a 2010 High Court judges’ bribery case.
The Taipei District Court gave the SID, then looking into the bribery case, permission to wiretap Ker in 2010. The case was closed and the wiretap approval rescinded on Sept. 5 when the SID confirmed that Ker had not been involved in the judges’ bribery case.
The Supreme Court handed back the breach of trust case for retrial earlier this year, recommending Ker be found “not guilty,” but during the wiretap period the SID recorded a conversation between Wang and Ker in which Ker said he hoped the prosecutors would not continue litigation, and Wang replied that Tseng would take care of it.
Tseng tendered his resignation on Saturday.
On Monday Ma accused Wang of peddling his influence and said he had brought “shame on Taiwan’s judiciary and democratic history.” Yesterday he added that “Wang was no longer fit to carry on as Legislative Speaker.”
Commenting on Ma’s “uncharacteristically” tough line and active participation in the matter, Lee said, “I hope that our president can maintain his customary smile, and take us to a greater future, instead of wearing a face distorted by hate all the time.”
Lee also said that the Taiwanese public still believed in what Ma can achieve and still had hope, but also added that Ma’s recent record was very disappointing.