The Taipei District Court yesterday acquitted Flanc Radical spokesperson Yen Ming-wei (顏銘緯) of charges filed after he threw a book at President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in September last year.
Yen, a student at National Sun Yat-sen University, made headlines when he hurled a copy of George Kerr’s Formosa Betrayed at Ma in protest over the president’s cross-strait policies.
Police later charged Yen with obstructing public duties and causing physical harm, citing violations of the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法).
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
The court cleared Yen of all charges, saying that Yen did not obstruct any public duties as Ma was attending a private event when the incident occurred. It ruled that Yen’s behavior did not constitute a violent attack, since the book he threw failed to find its mark.
However, Yen is still in the midst of another legal battle with a man surnamed Lee (李), who claims he was hit in the stomach by the book after it missed Ma.
Yen said that Lee’s ongoing lawsuit against him, over charges of causing bodily harm, clearly reflected the will of the Ma administration, with Lee merely serving as Ma’s “puppet.”
“Ma’s seven years in office have led to regression in many areas; from the backsliding of democracy to the collapse in peoples’ livelihoods, and have led to a new wave of social movements,” he said.
“Damage to Taiwan’s ‘social order’ or economic development was caused by Ma Ying-jeou himself,” Yen said.
He said that it was unimportant whether Ma was carrying out officials duties or not during the incident, as he intended to express his dissent based on Ma’s position as president.
“If I were to be declared guilty of causing harm, then the harm Ma Ying-jeou inflicted to Taiwan over the past seven years would warrant him a lifetime in prison,” Yen said. “My act of dissent pales in comparison with the harm that he caused.”
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
British newspaper The Mail on Sunday reported that Prince Charles met with Bruno Wang (汪家興), a Taiwanese fugitive who describes himself as a Chinese philanthropist and donated ￡500,000 (US$683,522) to the prince’s charity, the Prince’s Foundation. The newspaper reported that Wang is wanted in Taiwan on charges related to money laundering and being a fugitive from justice, allegations he denies, and drew comparisons between Wang and the Russian banker Dmitry Leus. Investigation and cooperation with foreign authorities have found that Bruno Wang’s father, Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), had stashed proceeds from a scandal involving the procurement of Lafayette frigates in 61 bank accounts,
AT ODDS: The KMT called on the government to seek bilateral dialogue with Beijing to resolve the issue that led to the ban on custard apple and wax apple imports Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned China’s sudden ban on imports of custard apples and wax apples from Taiwan as “obvious political retaliation,” while the opposition called for a scientific investigation into Beijing’s claim to have found pests in imports of the fruits. China earlier yesterday announced a ban on the importation of the two fruits from today, citing repeated discoveries of Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug. The announcement follows a similar ban on Taiwanese pineapples imposed in February. At least Beijing gave a few days’ notice when it banned pineapple imports, an unnamed government official said yesterday. This time
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two