KMT Lawmaker Chiu Yi to report to jail without receiving formal notice

The China Post staff

Legislator Chiu Yi of the Kuomintang (KMT) said yesterday he will report to jail as notified, although he has not yet received the formal notice of the imprisonment verdict from the court. Chiu said he will let himself locked up to “highlight the unreasonableness” of the system.

The Supreme Court handed down a final verdict last Thursday to uphold a 14-month sentence given to Chiu in earlier trials. He was found guilty of leading opposition supporters to stage a violent protest at the Kaohsiung District Court to demanding a recount of votes after President Chen Shui-bian’s paper-thin reelection victory on March 20, 2004 following the firing of two shots at him and running mate Annette Lu one day earlier. Chiu said he has not yet gotten the Supreme Court ruling despite the fact that he received notification for him to report to prison. A judicial reform organization in the private sector has advised Chiu not to go to the jail to highlight the defects in the legal procedure. But the lawmaker, elected from Kaohsiung, said at a press conference that he still plans to go to prison even without formal notice of the court verdict. Chiu noted there were many unjustified scenarios in the investigation by prosecutors and police in the cases involving himself and others. This would only lead people to suspect political intervention in the nation’s judicial system, he said. He said the Kaohsiung Prosecutors Office indicted him in only seven days.

But it took one year and six months for prosecutors to wrap up the probe into the violent protests by several legislators from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) at the Taoyuan International Airport (then named Chiang Kai-shek International Airport) on April 26, 2005. Even the district court has not yet opened hearings on the case, Chiu pointed out. He questioned what kind of judicial standards were adopted on the island. Chiu also said police and prosecutors have detained and then released the driver named “Ah Yi” who drove the vehicle to ram the gate of the Kaohsiung District Court while Chiu himself was in the car. No one bothered to question “Ah Yi” as a relevant party in the case in the past three years, Chiu said. Chiu vowed to continue exposing corruption in the government. But Justice Minister Shih Mao-lin commented that Chiu will not be able to exercise his rights as a lawmaker as an inmate. It remains to be seen if Chiu, who first uncovered the mishandling of the “state affairs” fund by President Chen’s wife, will be locked up as instructed on April 3.

Chiu’s colleagues in the KMT said they will seek a special appeal for a judicial ruling on his behalf.