Lawmakers yesterday criticized government officials for what they said was a failure to provide evidence or to identify those who are to be held accountable for the police crackdown on protesters at the Executive Yuan compound on March 24.
The legislature’s Internal Administration Committee’s task force for investigating the police crackdown on the protesters who stormed into the Executive Yuan was established on March 27 and is tasked with retrieving CCTV footage and other relevant materials, such as telephone records and police log books from the Executive Yuan and the police.
The committee held its third meeting yesterday.
However, before the interpellation, Democratic Progressive Party (DDP) Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) asked why the task force’s second meeting on April 10 was not broadcast live as other committee meetings are and should be.
The video recording of the meeting was also not placed on the Legislative Yuan’s Web site.
The usual broadcasting procedure was reportedly blocked due to the objection of the legislature’s Conference Department and Legislative Research Bureau, which said that the meeting was not open to the public because it involved documents which can only be viewed by the task force’s members.
“Since when does the bureau’s decision override a committee’s resolution?” Tuan asked.
DPP Legislator and committee convener Chen Chih-mai (陳其邁) contacted the legislature’s secretary-general and deputy secretary-general to discuss the matter and proposed that bureau officials face legislators.
The calls were unanswered and the proposal suspended.
None of the materials or information requested, except the estimated loss of the Executive Yuan appraised at NT$3 million (US$100,000), was provided by officials at the meeting.
National Police Agency Director-General Wang Cho-chiun (王卓鈞) said the evidence has been handed over to the Taipei District Court.
DPP Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) said that the videotape evidence, as the Executive Yuan’s report for the committee said, “does not include the Executive Yuan’s building,” and is limited to footage from surveillance cameras on surrounding streets.
“There are first-hand accounts saying that police vandalized the restroom doors. Are you going to blame students for all the damage without proof? And we would also like to know who really ate the suncakes [which Executive Yuan Deputy Secretary-General Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家淇) claimed were eaten by intruding protesters],” she said.
She also criticized police for requesting hospitals and fire departments to provide records of people who checked in to the hospital’s emergency unit following the forceful eviction of protesters on March 24.
Yu challenged Wang’s claim that the move was aimed at investigating victims of police violence, saying that the injured students were being summoned as suspects.
“They were informed that if they did not show up, a warrant for their arrest would be issued. Do you issue an arrest warrant to a witness?” Yu asked.
DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) labeled the collection of protesters’ fingerprints and other possible evidence by police after the protesters left the Legislative Yuan a violation of the legislature’s regulations.
She called for all “illegally obtained evidence” to be destroyed.
Kuan also said the police’s continuing barricades around the government buildings were “tantamount to imposing martial law.”