2009/02/22

Nazi-based Prosecutorial Style in Taiwan

Professor Luby Liao in California reminded us a nice article in NYTimes (Case Against Ex-Leader Stirs Unease in Taiwan).

Emphasizing the circus skit performed by prosecutors involved in Chen's case, the author Keith Bradsher raised global concerns about the fairness in Taiwan's judiciary processes. In one paragraph mentioned is Taiwan's judiciary code is based on Nazi's:

The case has prompted broader concerns about Taiwan's legal code. Its detention and criminal procedure laws were drafted in the 1930s and early '40s by Chinese Nationalist legal scholars who mainly looked to Nazi Germany for ideas. The Nationalists lost China's civil war to the Communists and retreated to Taiwan, which they ruled under martial law until 1987, but essentially the same laws remain on the books.

It's a good thing that NYTimes to have noticed this.

One paragraph of the article mentioned:

But detention centers will no longer record defendants’ conversations with their defense lawyers unless specifically directed to do so by a judge or prosecutor.

It presents a common misconcept that the court ruling has prevented Chen's case from being taped.

The court did say (on 1/20/09) that the taping is ruled as illegal. But it also said that the ruling will NOT take effect until May, 2009. That is, this ruling makes it legal to record defense conversations before then. By the time it takes effect, the prosecutors will most probably have taped everything they want to hear about Chen's defense strategy.

The question is, if it is illegal, why not take effect immediately? Does it take 3 to 4 months for the prosecutor office to NOT RECORD IT ? I just can't think of any logical reason other than Chen's case for the judges to delay the execution of the new ruling. Can you ?

So the court ruling -- contrary to what is commonly believed that it has prevented prosecutor office from jeopardizing Chen's defense -- has in fact provided a legal coverage for prosecutors to tape the conversations between Chen and his visitors. Judging from their blatant Nazi-style prosecutions, the prosecutors would most probably do so, but now in secrecy. If in case the recording is exposed later, or the prosecutors blatantly use the recording as incriminating evidence in the court, the defense will have no legal base to argue that those recordings be excluded -- hey, the court did rule that it's legal before May, remember?

Update_090223:

Just found the related TT report (Justices pull plug on supervised meetings), which says,

"The interpretation also says that information gained from the recordings of such a meetings shall no longer be admissible as evidence after May 1."

What is also mentioned in the article: this "inadmissible" ruling actually was in response to a request of a pan-blue defendant who thinks his right is violated by the recording.

IT IS NOT IN RESPONSE TO THE OVERWHELMINGLY INTERNATIONAL CRITICS ABOUT CHEN'S CASE !!!

In fact, the Council of Grand Justices made such a ruling that the recording on pan-blue's defendant is inadmissible, but in that same ruling made the recording about Chen as admissible !!!

What a judiciary impartiality the honey-tongued Ma Ying-jeou swears to uphold !


2 comments:

STOP Ma [23/2/09 01:15] said...

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I made a flippant comment a few weeks back about how this reminded me of a Nazi-style judiciary.

Little did I know.
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Robert [23/2/09 11:59] said...

It's a wicked judicial system. Why don't they stop the practice immediately if taping is illegal? This reminded me the highest court ruled NCC was unconstitutional and it continued to exist as is. How absurd can it be!