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Jul 24, 2007

Latest on Ma case

Taipei Times:

No concrete ruling was handed down by the presiding judge yesterday after lawyers and prosecutors presented their cases for the deposition of a key witness in former Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) corruption case.

Judges, Ma's lawyers and prosecutors yesterday examined visual and audio recordings of the interrogation of a witness in the case to determine whether the prosecutor's transcript of the witness testimony was accurate.

Ma's lawyer Song Yao-ming (宋耀明) has accused prosecutor Hou Kuan-jen (侯寬仁) of forgery, claiming that a deposition of a witness Wu Li-ju (吳麗洳), a Taipei City Government treasurer, was not an accurate record of her statement.

China Post:

The review was carried out in a courtroom, where both prosecutors and lawyers Ma ... shared the view that there was nothing inaccurate or falsified in the records of statements made by Wu Li-ju, a cashier in the Taipei City Government.

But Ma's lawyer Sung Yao-ming demanded that records of the review session replace records produced by prosecutors, but Prosecutor Huang Hui-ming opined that Sung's demand could hardly stand to reason.

In response, chief court judge Tsai Shou-hsun said that whether Wu's additional statements at the review process could be used as new evidence to attest to Ma's innocence or guilt would be dealt with in the verdict, to be issued by the court.

By the way, what's with the discrepancy between those two?

Taiwan News:

After spending more than one hour reviewing the recording, presiding judge Tsai Shou-hsun announced that he wouldexplain whether Hou's written record of Wu's testimony is admissible as a evidence when he issued a verdict in the high-profile case. . . .

Shih Su-mei, the director of the Department of Budget, Accounting and Statistics under the Taipei City Government told the judges that she thought that half of the mayoral special allowance fund, which the Taipei mayor was allowed to collect without providing vouchers to account for his spending, should in principle be used exclusively on public affairs.

Shih's statement reportedly surprised Ma, his defense team and even the prosecutors, as her view about the character of the special allowance seemed to be opposite to Ma's.

And here's my favorite line from any of the articles:

Analysts thought that the dispute over whether a prosecutor distorted the testimony given by a witness during interrogation in his written record probably would not have any influence on the district court's ruling, but could deeply influence people's confidence in judicial authorities.

In other words, the main problem with this is every one's going to , forever, that they're right about their personal hunch on whether Ma is guilty or innocent and whether or not the prosecutor forged part of his case.

Update: The "debate" portion of the case will end next Tuesday, meaning the end of the trial is very much in sight. Judge deliberations should not take too long.

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