陳水扁 ( 阿扁札記): 又有多少人瞭解「扁案」?
How many people really know enough about “The Abian Cases”?
◎ Abian-ah Diary ( 阿扁札記)
During the trials of the “Abian Cases”, only less than 20 people were allowed to attend the court hearing. The coverage by the news media was very limited. Impartial and accurate reports almost did no exist. How many people actual got to listen to the defense by myself and the rebuttal and cross-examination by my lawyers? For those who comment on “the Abian case” loosely, how many of them really know enough about “the Abian cases”? (note: “the Abian cases” is a term for all court cases against President Chen Shui Bian.) For one “Abian Case”, some judges sentenced to life in prison, but some acquitted me; for another “Abian Case”, some judges acquitted me, while others sentenced me to over 10 years in jail. With the verdicts this disbelievingly far apart, it is unacceptable.
The first “Abian case”, which was charged against me after the 2008 presidential election, started out with an indictment in Nov. 2006 by Taiwan High Prosecutors Office (THPO) regarding the use of presidential discretionary fund for national affairs. However, Ma, who was Taipei Mayor, was also indicted by THPO for his embezzlement of mayor discretionary fund. The presidential discretionary fund for national affairs is the earliest discretionary fund for government executives. The difference between the two cases is that when Mayor Ma was indicted, the whole KMT stood firmly behind him and nominated him as the presidential candidate for their party, while DPP chose to distant themselves by adopting a “sever-the-ties” tactic. Now, it has become clear that historically the use of both discretionary funds were governed by loosely defined rules(1).
In both cases, there was false bookkeeping with bogus receipts. Ma Yin-Jeou deposited the mayor discretionary fund into his private bank account. Each month, he wired NT$200,000 to his wife Chou Mei-Ching. He wired NT$3,000,000 to his sister Ma I-Nan. He paid for his daughter’s credit card charges with his discretionary fund. Tsai Sho-Shiun (the presiding judge) and his joint court acquitted Ma in the name of “mixed use of the fund” and “the Big Dam Theory”(2). However, the same joint court sentenced me to life in prison even though I provided proof for legitimate fund uses to conduct classified diplomatic missions, whose expenses totaled NT$130,000,000, an amount far exceeding the total amount of the presidential discretionary fund. On August 26, 2011, I was cleared for all the embezzlement charges by the first retrial ordered by the High Court.
Note(1): The congress controlled by KMT passed a new law to “forgive” all the misuse of discretionary funds by all high officials (mostly past KMT high officials), except President Chen and Vice President Lu. The law denotes the misuse as a “historically common practice”.
Note(2): “The Big Dam Theory” was invented by a pro-KMT attorney, Chen C-V, Managing Partner & Chief Counselor of Lee & Li Attorneys at Law to defend Ma. After Ma was found to deposit half of the discretionary fund to his personal bank account, he “denoted" the money he embezzled to his own foundation. “Judge” Tsai accepted his after-being-caught donation as a legitimate expense and adopted this “Big Dam Theory” to acquit Ma, claiming that as long as the total amount of legitimate expenses exceeds the total of the discretionary fund, it was legal. However, this Big Dam Theory was not applied to President Chen’s case by the very same judge even though there was no evidence that any money from the presidential discretionary fund was wired into the private bank account of President Chen.
(3) I was acquitted for he charges of misuse of Diplomatic Mission Miscellaneous Fund
This embezzlement charge was pressed against me by the Special Prosecutors Panel (SPP) without merits, building on speculative and falsified evidences.
Note: The Supreme Court acquitted President Chen of guilt in US$330,000 Diplomatic Mission Miscellaneous Fund, supporting the decisions by the Taipei District Court and the Taiwan High Court on April 29, 2011.
(4) Other “Abian Cases”, in addition to the one related to the presidential discretion fund, are all related to “campaign funds” and “political contributions”. The difference is that the political contributions accepted by KMT are considered as legitimate campaign funds, while all my campaign funds, either raised for two of my presidential elections or for candidates nominated by DPP for local elections, are considered as corruption and bribery money in exchange for equal valued political and policy favors from me. The Supreme Court Decision #627 clearly defined the powers of the President and the Premier of Executive Yuan under the current ROC Constitution. The Premier of Executive Yuan is in charge of executive functions of the government, while the President is in charge of those specific functions defined by the Constitution and Amendments. Consequently, the executive powers overseeing, for example, the development of research parks, personnel decision of private enterprises, and mergers of financial institutes are not parts of the presidential powers. In both the Long-Tiang case (1) and the Chen Min-Shin case(2), the judge reached guilt verdicts because the judge asserted that presidential powers were exercised in the decision makings of these two cases. This assertion is clearly unconstitutional and the guilt verdicts are therefore invalid.
Note(1): The Long-Tiang case is related to the development of a research park.
Note(2): The Chen Min-Shin case is related to the appointment of Chen Min-Shin as the head of Taipei 101 tower.
(5) As for the case of “Second Financial Reform”(1), I was acquitted in the first trial because the judge decided that my presidential powers were not directly involved in the decision making of the above “Financial Reform” and there were no promises of favors in exchange for political contributions from two banks involved in the “Financial Reform.” In fact, the political contributions from these two banks, Cathay Financial Holdings and Yuanta Financial Holdings, were parts of campaign contributions raised and used for election campaigns over the years. Among them, NT$100 million was used for the 2004 presidential election, while NT$1.3 billion was used for various elections, including county and city mayors elections in 2001, legislators election in 2002, 2005, and 2008, Taipie and Kaohsiung city mayors and city councilors elections in 2002 and 2006 for DPP candidates, as well as pledges to sponsor the candidates of the allied party, Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), in 2001 and 2004 (NT$60 million). Specifically, the campaign funds I contributed to several Taipei and Kaohsiung mayors elections were as high as NT$60 million, 50 million, 35 million, and 20 million, respectively. However, these campaign funds I raised were all denounced as corruption and bribery “dirty money” by the prosecution. Some DPP and TSU candidates, while considering the same campaign funds that I contributed to them as their fair share, attempted to sever the ties with me to distinguish themselves as “clean” politicians.
Note(1): There were bank mergers involved in “Second Financial Reform” .
(6). I am not connected to the Nan-Kong Case.
I have nothing to do with the Nan-Kong Exhibition Hall case, even though it is counted as one of the “Abian cases”. Neither I was not indicted, nor was I sentenced for it. The court found Yu Chan-Shen and Wu Shu-Jen guilty of attempting to profit from others, but the case is currently under apeal.
(7). The funds I stashed overseas were intended for diplomatic missions after my presidency.
Among the so called “Oversea NT$700 million”, the court decided that only less than NT$300 million was involved with money laundering, including NT$70 million which was related to Tsai Ming-Tse and his sister. The rest of the fund is found to be legal. When the Examination Yuan investigated James Soong for his role in the Shin-Piau Money Laundering case, the Examination Yuan affirmed that unspent campaign fund legally became personal property of the candidate after the election. Because of this legal affirmation, James Soong was not found guilty of money laundering even though he wired NT$380 million to the US using the identities of thirty to forty people. James Soong, the former Governor of Taiwan, reported to the election board that he only raised NT$100 million campaign fund. In fact, his unspent campaign fund alone exceeded NT$620 million. Soong claimed that he was unaware of it because it was his wife who managed the campaign fund. My wife, Wu Shu-Jen, wired unspent campaign funds to oversea banks with an intention to use them for diplomatic missions for Taiwan and for public affairs. In fact, a sum of US$1.9 million was given to Mr. Wu Li-Pei, a former member of National Affairs Council, for classified diplomatic missions. The Special Prosecution Panel indicted Mr. Wu Li-Pei for participating in money laundering but he was acquitted of any wrong doings.
(9). Taipei District Prosecutors found Ma and Kim (1) interfered with the judicial independence.
The fact that even prosecutors acknowledged the judicial interference by Ma and Kim, it becomes clear why only six days after I was acquitted for the charges of the “Second Financial Reform Case”, the Taiwan High Court unilaterally (2) reached two guilty verdicts for the “Long-Tiang Case” and the “Chen Min-Shin Case” and sent me to jail immediately without giving me rights to appeal.
Note(1): Kim was the head of KMT at the time. He is a close friend of Ma.
Note(2): The Taiwan High Court reached the guilt verdicts for these two cases in a unprecedented manner. Usually, the High Court returns the case back to a lower court for retrial if it does not agree with the verdict of the lower court.
(11). Koo and Du testified that they were threatened and coerced to testify against me.
In 2008, in the beginning of the prosecution of the “Abian Cases”, the prosecutors of the Special Prosecution Panel called a news conference and boldly pledged that they would resign if they could not bring a conviction of me. Following this news conference, the Justice Minister, Wang Ching-Feng, briefed the case to the secretariat of KMT, Wu Dun-I. Soon after, the prosecutors started an all-out investigation and placed witnesses under custody to build their case against me. The Premier of Executive Yuan, Liu Chao-Shien, even predicted, in response to legislators’ questioning, that I would be soon placed under custody. It is evident that prosecutors harassed and coerced witnesses to testify against me. For example, Du Li-Ting admitted, during a court hearing, that her attempted suicide was a result of harassment and threats by the prosecution. Jeffrey Koo Jr., his lawyer and CFO of his company testified in a High Court hearing of the “Red Fire Case” that the Special Prosecution Panel asked Koo to testify against me. Koo’s lawyers confirmed that Koo did not remit NT$300 million bribe money to me as accused.(1)
Lee Tsei-Mu (2) was threatened by the prosecution to testify against me or he would be severely punished to an extent that he would lose all of his estates.
After the Special Prosecution Panel brought the charges against me, Judge Chou Chan-Tsun twice released me without bail, but Judge Chou was replaced by Tsai Sho-Shiun and the joint court he assembled through an executive order, a violation of the principle of “Legally Assigned Judge” (3). Tsai Sho-Shiun, who acquitted Ma of the Mayor Discretion Fund case, intentionally ignored the evidences in favor of me and even hid an important piece of evidence related to classified documents of “Fong-Ten Project”, locking it away in a safe to keep it out of the court hearing. Despite all witnesses testified that I owned substantial unspent campaign funds and political contributions, Tsai Sho-Shium simply proclaimed “There were none!” and sentenced me to life in prison, fulfilling his guilty prejudgment.
Note(1): Koo’s lawyers admitted Koo’s false testimony in May 2011.
Note(2): Lee Tsei-Mu was convicted of accepting bribery money for the development project of the Long-Tiang Research Park. There are video recordings of his questioning and interviewing by the prosecutors in which the prosecutors clearly threatened him to provide damaging testimonies.
Note(3): Article #16 of Taiwan Constitution provides constitutional litigation right to people. This Article emphasizes that in order to protect the constitutional litigation right, the selection process to assign a presiding judge must follow an impartial and open drawing procedure. This is the core value of the principle of legally assigned judge. It is unconstitutional to remove the legally assigned judge through an executive order. Taipei District Court removed the legally assigned judge Chou Chan-Tsun and installed Judge Tsai Sho-Shuin by an executive order based on the decision of a meeting among chief justices subject to external influences without abiding by the rule of law.
陳水扁 2012. 02. 09
Chen Shui Bian, 2-9-2012
( Note：It was thanks to Mr. Jay Tu that this article translated into English. – Taiwan eNews)