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Anti-graft camp calls for judiciary respect

Anti-graft camp calls for judiciary respect

The ruling Democratic Progressive Party must fully respect the judiciary's independence and allow prosecutors to carry out their duties without political meddling, a spokesman for an anti-graft campaign said yesterday. Wei Chien-feng (魏千峰), a lawyer and a key member in the "red-clad" anti-corruption campaign led by former DPP Chairman Shih Ming-teh (施明德), issued the call at a news conference at the campaign's headquarters in Taipei. Wei made the remarks after Chang Hsi-huai, chief prosecutor in charge of the trial of first lady Wu Shu-jen for her role in claiming false reimbursements from Chen's special "state affairs fund," reportedly had a nervous breakdown Wednesday after a group of DPP lawmakers launched a series of verbal attacks against him questioning his loyalty to the nation. DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun (游錫<方方土>) and lawmakers Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) and Lin Kuo-ching accused Chang of being inadequate to investigate Wu's case due to claims he has a pro-China stance. In the face of the flak from the DPP, Wei demanded that the party refrain from pressuring the judiciary and to stop attacking Chang over ideological differences. According to Wei, the DPP's accusation against Chang is just a strategy to hobble the prosecutors' investigation into the state affairs corruption case. He blasted the DPP for hindering the investigation and said the party has seriously undercut the judiciary's independence. The DPP must not choose to believe in the judiciary only when the situation seems to be in its favor and must not launch verbal attacks against Chang just because he traveled to China several times, including once to Macau, where he attended a judiciary seminar with advance permission from the Ministry of Justice. China visits must never be an excuse to doubt anyone's love for Taiwan, because Chen, when serving as a lawmaker, also visited China, Wei claimed, pointing out that Wellington Ku, an attorney who maintains very close links with Chen and who is defending Wu in the state affairs funds case, has also visited China. The "pan-blue alliance" ticket in the 2004 presidential election, composed of Lien Chan (連戰), then chairman of the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT), and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), accepted the court's verdict that they lost the case after they filed two lawsuits demanding it nullify the controversial presidential race and invalidate Chen's election, Wei noted. Both the ruling and opposition camps must fully respect the judiciary, Wei said. In response to the criticism, Yeh claimed later the same day that she only suspects Chang's suitability to probe the state affairs expenses case due to his pro-China stance because the case is closely related to the nation's "secret diplomacy." China is Taiwan's biggest hurdle and the spending of state affairs funds is a matter that affects the national interest, Yeh said. DPP lawmaker Wu Ping-jui said that Chang made two trips to China, out of a total of five, without approval from the MOJ.


Updated : 2021-07-29 05:44 GMT+08:00