Trial of state affairs fund case elicit overseas concerns

Trial of state affairs fund case elicit overseas concerns

The high-profile trial of the state affairs fund case, in which first lady Wu Shu-chen is indicted on charges of forgery and corruption, has elicited responses from overseas Taiwanese in the U.S. Some Taiwan societies in the U.S. yesterday issued a statement calling for the removal of the chief prosecutor of the case, Chang Hsi-hai, and the presiding chief, Tsai Shou-hsun, from the case.

President Chen Shui-bian was named along with his wife on the corruption charges after a probe into the allegation that Chen misused state affairs funds had been concluded on November 3. Chen was not indicted because of his constitutional immunity. According to the Constitution, the president is immune from criminal charges while in office. Also indicted are three of the president’s former and current aides.

The Taipei District Court began to try the case on December 15. The outcome of the trial is expected to have a great influence in Taiwan’s politics since the president has publicly said that he would step down if his wife were given a guilty verdict in the case.

The statement of the overseas Taiwan societies was issued in the name of Lin Hsiu-ho, chairman of the Greater New York Charter of the Taiwanese Association of America. The statement pointed out that the court had begun to try the case and to treat first lady Wu as a defendant on December 15, but argued that the court should have waited for the constitutionality of the case to be resolved before proceeding to try the case.

Ruling Democratic Progressive Party caucus leader Ker Chien-ming has put forward a proposal that the constitutionality of this type of investigation against the president be interpreted by the Council of Grand Justices before legal proceedings against Chen and his wife commence.

The statement also questioned whether the court had decided to try the case every Friday in order to close the case as soon as possible. In the statement, these Taiwan societies also urged Taiwan judicial system to remove Chang and Tsai from the case, asked Taiwan media to report only the truth, praised the courage of the Yilan farmer, Lin Chin-kun, who had sued the judges and prosecutors of the state affairs fund case, and appealed to the Taipei City government for approving unconscionable and inhuman protests.

Updated : 2021-04-16 07:44 GMT+08:00