Wed, May 16, 2018 - Page 3 News List

DPP’s Ker calls on Ma to admit guilt, accept verdict

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) yesterday called on former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to admit his guilt and not appeal after the Taiwan High Court overturned a lower court’s not-guilty verdict and sentenced Ma to four months in prison.

“This is a very important ruling in our nation’s judicial history. Ma, as president at the time, was found guilty of manipulating the justice system, impairing the Constitution and undermining the rule of law,” Ker told reporters after the court’s announcement.

The “landmark ruling” has significant ramifications for Taiwan’s democracy, the ongoing pursuit of transitional justice, the judicial reform process, efforts to amend the Constitution and the restoration of the public’s faith in judicial independence, he said.

Ker summarized Ma’s situation following the guilty verdict with a quote from a Ming Dynasty book, Caigentan (菜根譚): “A momentary abuse of political power in exchange for eternal misery” (弄權一時,淒涼萬古).

The case against Ma stems from his order to then-prosecutor-general Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) to provide the Presidential Office with information about a Special Investigation Division (SID) investigation into alleged lobbying by Ker, then-legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and others over an embezzlement case involving Ker.

The SID probe involved wiretaps on the conversations of several lawmakers, Ker said.

“It was a political machination by Ma to oust his opponents, hearkening back to the Martial Law era government’s use of intelligence agencies and the police state apparatus to monitor and suppress citizens,” Ker said.

“I wanted to set off fireworks to celebrate this ruling. The court has restored justice to society,” said prosecutor Lin Hsiu-tao (林秀濤), who filed a lawsuit after it was revealed that the SID tapped her and her daughter’s telephones as part of its probe.

“Ma broke the law and abused presidential power, poisoning our nation with discord and turmoil. Yet, he was given only a four-month term, which can be commuted to a NT$1,000 per day fine,” New Power Party Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said on Facebook. “Ma got off easy with a lenient term, but still moaned about a political persecution.”

“This was the right ruling by the court, and we hope it will smash the judiciary’s ‘protective armor’ that Ma set up as a safeguard against prosecution,” DPP Legislator Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said, pointing to other litigation against Ma for alleged profiteering and receiving undue benefits.

“The long arm of the law will finally catch up to you Ma. You have been hiding from prosecution, but justice will be served eventually and the time grows near,” he added.

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