Sean Lien and DPP lawmaker come to a compromise in court

By Grace Soong,The China Post

The lawsuit between Kuomintang (KMT) Honorary Chairman Lien Chan’s son Sean Lien (連勝文) and former opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Kuo Cheng-liang (郭正亮) officially ended after the two reached a compromise yesterday, with Lien accepting an official apology from Kuo in court.

The lawsuit stemmed from comments Kuo made on a political talk show on Dec. 6, 2010, saying he “despises” Lien. Kuo also stated that Lien was an “accomplice of the party-state system” (黨國體制), and went on to say that Lien has “no conscience.”

Kuo’s remarks came amid an investigation into a shooting incident involving Lien on Nov. 26, 2010. Lien was shot in the head while stumping for the KMT’s New Taipei City candidate in municipal elections. Lien sued Kuo for defamation and requested a published apology in local newspapers as well as compensation of NT$1.2 million.

Lien explained yesterday that he had chosen to sue Kuo for defamation because the former DPP lawmaker’s sharp words were a “second trauma” to him. Lien was still recovering from his head wound when Kuo made the remarks. Kuo’s willingness to publicly express his apology, however, was proof of “extreme courage and sincerity,” Lien said, remarking that since peace is what matters the most, this “fight between people of noble characters” should come to an end.

Such positive interactions between him and Kuo are what Taiwanese society should look up to in times of dispute, Lien concluded. Kuo commented that although he had won the first instance of the trial, dragging the lawsuit out would just be a waste of judicial resources and that he would rather apologize since emotionally speaking, he was indeed apologetic over his words. Rationally speaking, however, Kuo maintained that he had the right to say what he did.