Thu, Oct 12, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Ker Chien-ming slams Ma acquittal as ‘disappointing’

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan High Court’s acquittal of former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is disappointing, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said yesterday, adding that he would apply for a retrial.

Ker said he suspected the court had conspired to absolve Ma of wrongdoing through deliberate omission of evidence.

Ma abused his presidential authority to meddle with the justice system and the legislature, Ker said, adding that by doing so “he damaged Taiwan’s rule of law and democratic institutions.”

“I respect the court’s ruling, as I have always done,” said former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who was a key figure in the case.

“The High Court judges chose to overlook that Ma played a leading role in then-state prosecutor-general Huang Shyh-ming’s (黃世銘) leaking of classified information related to an investigation of top legislative officials and lawmakers in 2013,” Ker said.

“To acquit a person who interfered with the legislature and damaged the Constitution is regrettable. The judges helped cover up Ma’s wrongdoing by using their prerogative as judges to conceal his unlawful activities. This ruling tramples on the dignity of the justice system and diminishes public trust in the courts,” he added.

He accused the judges of pandering to Ma by creating reasons to absolve him of wrongdoing, saying that the evidence showed otherwise.

“Ma on several occasions publicly said that he did not understand some of the materials gathered from the wiretapping and the recording of the conversation, so at the time he invited Huang to his residence to discuss the matter,” Ker said. “However, in the ruling, the judges wrote it was Huang who took the initiative to go to Ma and report the case, and with that interpretation, they ruled that Ma did not instigate the leak and there was no indication of criminal intent on his part. This is absolutely contrary to fact.”

Ker denounced the ruling as the work of “dinosaur judges.”

Instead of upholding the independence of the judiciary, the ruling shows the brutality and dictatorial power of the judicial system, which will become a laughing stock, Ker said, adding that it is a worrisome development for the nation and its citizens.

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