The KMT's Diane Lee Finally Admits, She Lied.
Friday October 30, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.
The political bias and imbalance of Taiwan's Courts and its System of Justice were once again made evident in Taiwan when Diane Lee returned to court this past week. Lee, a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) ex-legislator finally admitted that she, in violation of the law, has all along held dual-citizenship between the United States and the Republic of China on Taiwan. Yes after months of denying this fact, after accusing the United States of poor record keeping, after using every excuse and trying to blame any and all parties for doubting her, Lee finally admitted the truth. But what has this to do with the bias of the courts. Lee is still presumed innocent in the eyes of the court; she is as free as a bird.
Examine recent contrasting previous high profile cases of fraud and embezzlement. First Lee's case is about as open and shut a case as one can get. The Nationality Act prohibits government officials from holding dual citizenship; further one must declare in writing that one does not hold dual citizenship before taking office. Lee knew the law and consistently and always avoided making that declaration. In her ten plus years in office, Lee's party, the KMT, allowed and never challenged her omission. Thus in her illegal positions as Taipei City councilor and legislator Lee collected over US$ 3 million in salaries defrauding the government and people of Taiwan. In short, Lee ripped the people of Taiwan off by over US$ 3 million. Lee has still not seen the inside of a jail, though with two passports, she could easily skip the country. Lee has also been able to meet her lawyers and plan a defense without anyone listening in. She remains presumed innocent.
Next, examine Chen Shui-bian's case. Chen was not presumed innocent, he was presumed being guilty. When he was charged with corruption he was jailed immediately after he was indicted. Further Chen was not allowed privacy with his lawyers to prepare any defense; the court not only (and against the Constitution) insisted on both listening in to any conversations Chen had with his lawyers but also taping them in case something was missed. While Chen was charged with misuse of funds, the court speculated and never clearly distinguished or proved what funds were legitimate campaign donations and what were not. It just said, there is a lot of money there (i.e. US$ 20 million) some of it must be illegal, therefore he is guilty.
Lee's case is simple; her salary was illegally gotten; the exact amount is known. Chen's case is vague, complex and no exact amounts are proven. Both are treated in a completely different manner.
Then of course there is the case of Ma Ying-jeou who also took money (a smaller but clear specific amount some US$ .5 million) from his special fund allowance. Ma's amount is specifically known but he was presumed innocent; he never saw jail after being indicted; he was allowed to meet with his lawyers privately and plan a defense etc. Eventually, it was only Ma's secretary who was found guilty and the secretary Yu Wen, went to jail for 9 months. The joke of this crime is that Ma then said, "The court should be lenient for Yu Wen did not profit; he did not put the money in his pocket." Of course, Mr. Ma, Yu Wen did not profit, he did not put the money in his pocket; he put the money in your pocket. You are the one that profited, but Yu Wen went to jail.
Judge for yourself. Three persons accused of fraud and embezzlement. Two are presumed innocent and never jailed. One is presumed guilty and jailed. For two the exact amounts they "stole" are clearly known; for the one, it is pure guess as to what if any was stolen. Two are KMT and the one is DPP. Two are allowed to freely plan their defense; one is not. Is everyone equal under the law in Taiwan? Don't bet on it.