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Apr 24, 2008

Final verdict for Ma here

ICRT reports: "The Taiwan Supreme Court is due to announce its verdict on President-elect Ma
Ying-jeou's case of special discretionary funds very soon. Ma has been acquitted by both the Taipei District Court and the Taiwan High Court."

Don't expect the Supreme Court to overturn the lower verdicts, especially now, and very likely for political reasons: there would be riots, and I doubt the KMT would accept the validity of the ruling.

Someone who read the first verdict mentioned it basically says "This was technically illegal, but so widespread we can't hope to prosecute these cases, and Ma had no intent to break the law," and although that's a pretty shoddy legal basis for an 'innocent' verdict, I think it's just too late. The Supreme Court will not be willing to be the reason the country descends into chaos.

Oh, here's the full text of the Taipei District Court's decision. I especially love this reason for the innocence verdict:

九、 被告未曾如起訴書所載之自白特別費為公款情事

(Roughly) 9. The defendant did not believe, contrary to the prosecution's claim, that the special affairs fund was only for public use.
Point three is quite similar. Well, legally, that's probably true. But Ma did clearly state he knew it was only for public use long before the case came to light.

Of course, that isn't admissible in court.

Update: here's the final verdict. Ma's in the clear.

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