I disagree with this. In the first place I doubt many people were even aware of the pre-trial detention law and so can hardly be said to be hypocrites now for arguing for its abolishment.
Second, the use of the detention to keep ordinary citizens from fleeing or destroying evidence, something businessmen like Cao do all to often, is hardly of the same importance as its potential to wage politcial vendettas. Justice Minister Wang is a nutty partisan of a ruling party that has control over all five levels of government. That people are now worried that prosecutors have the power to detain politicians before elections, in any effort to stop them from running or simply to tar their reputation, is something that no one would have considered before. So, again, no hypocrisy as the Chen case has brought up the flaws in the system that were not evident before.
You know there were many changes to the justice system in Chen’s first term to bring more rights to the accused. As many saw the system as making steady advances it may not have seemed necessary to push for the change of the pre-trial detention laws as abuses would be mitigated by this better system. In many ways it was, as after 30 days in detention Chen was released. Two appeals by the prosecution were rejected as insufficient in their arguments. Great. The system was working fine. Of course the judge was simply replaced in the end and Chen went back into detention. Oops, the system has a few flaws still.
I think it is fair to say that Chen’s situation brought the issue of pre-trial detention to the public eye for the first time and also brought to light just how rife it is for exploitation. So, no, no hypocrisy.[/quote]
Mucha Man, with all due respect, I strongly disagree.
Chen Shui Bian was tipped off into possible money laundering by the head of the very agency that normally would prosecute and follow up on such information. Your average citizen does not enjoy the privilege of being able to keep information passed on by law enforcement agencies private and confidential.
Your argument that somehow the detention law, would be used simply doesnt hold water. Chen Shui Bian is an exceptional case, and should it be applied to silence or keep other politicians out of power , the consequences of this would be supremely counterproductive.
I agree the swapping of judges was “iffy” but, given that Chen also used the system to his advantage, (see above), if you look at this objectively you will say, theres not much of a discovery process into why Chen Shui Bian is in court, very few people would try to argue his innocence, the judge may have been brought in to rubber stamp his detainment and future incarceration.
I read a letter in the Taipei times by a bunch of scholars, what a wimpy whiny letter it was. There is one issue that should be focused on in my opinion, which relates to Taiwan China relations. Why the hell are the opposition focusing thier efforts on defending a clearly corrupt ex president.