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Case dismissed against US author alleging Taipei mayor complicit in organ harvesting

Ko Wen-je had filed criminal complaint against Ethan Gutmann for his organ transplant claims in book

Ethan Gutmann

Ethan Gutmann (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — No charges will be filed against Ethan Gutmann, American author of a book about China's organ harvesting and dissidents, or the publisher Brian Wu (吳祥輝), after they were accused of libeling Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), the Taipei District Prosecutors Office announced on Thursday (Aug. 27).

Gutmann's book, "The Slaughter: Mass Killings, Organ Harvesting, and China's Secret Solution to its Dissident Problem," allegedly contained passages that were intended to unseat Ko during the mayoral election in 2018, according to UDN. The case was dismissed by the prosecutors on the grounds there was not sufficient evidence

Wu published the Chinese version of the book, in which Gutmann accused Ko of having sent Taiwanese to China, in order to undergo organ transplants. This was allegedly done in the knowledge that the organs would come from jailed dissident members of the banned Chinese spiritual movement Falun Gong (法輪功).

On Oct. 2, 2018, Gutmann held a press conference in Taipei, during which he was asked the question, “Do you think Dr. Ko is a liar?” The American author thought for a moment and then nodded, saying, “Yes.”

Gutmann also claimed that Ko shared ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) technology at a conference in China. This would have potentially increased the possibility of being able to remove organs when a person was still alive.

On Oct. 4, 2018, Ko filed a criminal complaint against Gutmann and Wu for allegedly libeling him, with the intention of making him unelectable in the mayoral race that concluded soon after the Oct. 2 press conference.

Updated : 2021-05-11 22:30 GMT+08:00