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Ma hails not-guilty verdict, claims he is incorruptible

KMT presidential candidate insists ruling shows charges were unjust

After being cleared of all charges of corruption by the Taiwan High Court, opposing Kuomintang presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday that the verdict would only be a temporary setback to what he deemed the ruling party's judicial oppression of the KMT and that it would spark a more intense period of suppression.
Ma said that the not-guilty verdict reached by the six judges on his special allowance case has cleared his name and showed that the charges brought by the prosecutors were improper and unreasonable. Ma said that he still feels that he suffered an injustice by being charged with corruption as he believes he has been honest and incorruptible his entire life.
Facing the possibility of prosecutors filing an appeal, Ma said that the prosecutors should consider whether there is a need to waste judicial resources by filing another appeal of the case.
When asked whether he would issue a pardon to any person charged with corruption in cases involving special allowance funds, Ma said that the president of the country should use his privilege to pardon carefully. To resolve the controversy surrounding special allowance funds, which are sums set up for government executives' discretionary use, other means besides a pardon, such as amending relevant laws, should be considered first. Ma said that if he is elected president, he will use the state affairs funds according to regulations and will not create a different model for their usage.
KMT legislative whip Kuo Su-chun (郭素春) said that the high court's verdict of innocence not only returned to Ma the justice that he had been deprived of but also conformed to the wish of people of Taiwan who long for an orderly society.
Considering the fact that KMT vice presidential candidate Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) and the party's honorary chairman Lien Chan (連戰) had recently been questioned by prosecutors in connection with their past use of the special allowance funds, Kuo said that the judicial turmoil the ruling Democratic Progressive Party government might establish to affect the election campaign was something that he felt should be monitered.
In response to the acquittal by the high court, DPP Secretary-General Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) said that judicial justice does not rest on one verdict and that even though the DPP had some doubts about the fairness of the verdict, the party would respect the high court's ruling.
However, he questioned how the judges will face public officials are found guilty of misusing the funds but, unlike Ma, had not spent official funds on their wives and children. He said that if the panel was unable to fairly critique Ma's actions, then the people will take the reins and do it on March 22 when they choose the country's next president.
DPP Legislator Hsieh Hsin-ni said that the verdict explained why the KMT has been fighting a new law which would regulate the country's judges. The public had expected the law to have been passed during the last legislative session.

Updated : 2021-06-25 04:33 GMT+08:00