Thu, Jun 07, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Taipei City Government: Prosecutors drop charges against Ko for ‘bastards’ quip

By Hsieh Chun-lin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday said it would not press libel charges against Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) for an online spat with anti-pension reform advocates last year.

Ko during a news event on Aug. 19 last year in response to the anti-pension reform demonstration that barred international athletes from attending the opening of the Taipei Summer Universiade called the protesters “sabotaging bastards.”

The Universiade was an important event not only for the city, but for the nation, and the protesters marred an auspicious celebration of the nation, he said at the time.

After the news conference, a woman surnamed Yang (楊) left a comment on Ko’s Facebook page asking him to explain to whom he was referring and accusing the city of lax security standards.

“You and the anti-pension reform groups,” Ko responded.

Members of the public later filed a complaint against Ko for libel, which the office yesterday dismissed.

The prosecutor assigned to the case saw no compelling reason to summon Ko, the office said.

Libel trials cannot be held without a complaint, and Yang had failed to press charges within the statutory six-month limit, the office said, adding that the complaints filed in the lawsuit lack legal standing, making the case invalid.

Additionally, Ko’s “anti-reform groups” response did not name any individuals and is therefore not specific enough to warrant prosecution, it added.

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