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Aug 10, 2007

Propaganda machine, check!

Well, with Ma's verdict so close (next Tuesday), it's time for both sides to take the propaganda up a notch.

Taipei City councilor Yen Sheng-kuan (顏聖冠) and DPP Legislator Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) a press conference today showing old footage from city hall where Ma clearly agrees the special allowance fund is only for public expenditures, that he's never used it for private purposes. and that he'd quit politics if he was ever found to have done so. Of course, Ma's current legal argument is that he thought the money was a subsidy he could use for private expenses. This is damning footage that will very likely be made into a DPP ad if Ma is judged guilty and still wants to run.

Ma's lawyers expressed optimism for the coming verdict because, "it's clear Ma had no intention of breaking the law" when depositing the NT$11 million (US$333,000) into his personal bank account. Yeah.

A conspiracy theory is floating around in the KMT (or so says UDN) that the breach of faith charges that prosecutors added on the day of closing arguments was politically motivated. In particular, you only get one appeal for those charges (two judgements locks it in) instead of the two appeals (three judgements) for a corruption charge. The conspiracy theory is that the prosecutors are secretly plotting a way to make sure Ma goes to jail before the election. Yeah.

According to article 26, paragraph five of the President And Vice President Election and Recall Law,

A person who has any of the following circumstances shall not be registered as a candidate for the Presidency or Vice Presidency: ...

5. ... been convicted and sentenced to a fixed prison term which has not been or entirely been served or have been adjudicated reprieve.
In other words, the only way Ma can be guilty and still run at all is if he can finish the prison term before he has to be registered as a candidate.

The conspiracy theorists say that the breach of faith charges were added because even a one year sentence would disqualify Ma from running by default, "if the DPP can influence the legal system" (since we all know Ma's innocent, so the only way he is pronounced guilty is if the DPP forced the judgement).


Michael Turton said...

Fantastic spot, man. Thanks for this. You know, if Taiwan had a real media, Ma would be roasted alive for stuff like this.


Raj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Raj said...

Oh dear, it's not looking good for Ma - is it?

By the way, he can still run until he has completed his appeals, right? Or do you think that if he's convicted on the new charge he'd have his appeal before the election and so would be stuffed? Or indeed do you think that he'd finish both his appeals before March on the original charge?

阿牛 said...

Weirdly enough, despite the fact that nobody even talks about it, I think even before the appeals are done he simply isn't qualify to register becasue he's been convicted of a crime and not served all the time yet.

Runsun said...

I don't think judges in Taiwan are dare enough to give a verdict to make Ma unable to run for President. They just don't have the gut to exercise the law to that extent.

Therefore, under the circumstances that Ma's guilty is undeniable, the only solution they can possibly cook up is to give him guilty verdict, but grant him leniency on sentencing such that he is still legal to run. Look at the details of the law you cited:

5. ... been convicted and sentenced to a fixed prison term which has not been or entirely been served or have been adjudicated reprieve.

There is a lot of space for the judges to do so. For example, sentencing him one week in jail that is to take effect 3 weeks before the election. That way, he might even come out of the jail before the voting as a hero and gain more votes.