Thursday, January 21, 2010

Taiwan News: KMT asserts ownership of Taiwan prosecutors

Taiwan News
Page 9
2010-01-22 12:00 AM

The impeachment by the Control Yuan of Supreme Public Prosecutor Chen Tsung-ming Tuesday marks the reassertion of ownership over Taiwan's prosecutors by the President Ma Ying-jeou's ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) and has grave implications for the defense of judicial independence and basic human rights for all Taiwan citizens.

On Tuesday, the Control Yuan voted by an eight to three margin to impeach the chief public prosecutor and file an injunction to force his resignation three years before his fixed term was scheduled to end only a week after a similar vote failed for lack of evidence.

There is no doubt that Chen Tsung-ming has been controversial since he was nominated by former president Chen Shui-bian and confirmed in February 2007 the KMT-controlled Legislative Yuan, which had rejected Chen's first nomination of current Judicial Yuan Secretary-General Hsieh Wen-ting who was perceived as "too independent" from both political camps.

The fact that the chief public prosecutor was nominated by the maligned ex-president and received legislative confirmation due to vigorous support by Taiwan-born Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng had already made it impossible for "deep blue" hardline KMT legislators to trust the new chief prosecutor, whose energetic push to clamp down on vote bribery in the January 2008 legislative elections further angered KMT lawmakers.

As a result, when the KMT regained "complete governance" after Ma took office in May 2008, KMT lawmakers began to push to "settle accounts" through impeachment proceedings with the chief prosecutor who had also had few friends in the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for his lack of vigor in prosecuting KMT officials for special funds malfeasance.

Moreover, the prosecution of the Chen Family cases under the guidance of the chief public prosecutor was clearly not up to the expectations of President Ma or hard-line KMT lawmakers who utilized pro-KMT media to incessantly attack Chen's personal shortcomings and spread rumors that he was being "soft" on the former president.

Justice Minister Wang Ching-feng, openly stated that the chief public prosecutor had held private meetings with "controversial persons" and publically dropped hints that Chen Tsung-ming "should know when to come and when to go."

Hence, it has long been evident that, as in other fields of government, Ma did not have the grasp of democratic principles or patience to allow Chen to complete his four - year term.

Ironically, on Jan. 5, the Control Yuan had reviewed the petition by KMT lawmakers to impeach Chen but the motion was defeated by a six to six vote, a development that sparked intense attacks on the Control Yuan on pro-KMT media talk shows.

Then, on Jan. 13, KMT Secretary-General King Pu-tsung attributed the DPP's Jan. 10 sweep of three legislative by-elections to the inability of the Ma government to satisfy "fundamental" supporters and cited the failure to impeach the supreme public prosecutor as a key example.

The fact that the Control Yuan reversed their Jan. 5 decision less than a week after King's declaration is a "coincidence" that has sparked considerable unease in legal and political circles.

The reaction of prosecutors was visible by the decision of all of the members of the the Special Investigative Unit directly under the supreme public prosecutor to resign, while other prosecutors voiced anger over the harm caused to the credibility of Taiwan's judiciary caused by this transparent and clumsy act of political interference.

Nevertheless, the heavy-handedness of this action masks a cunning political agenda to ensure control over the judiciary.

After all, if the chief public prosecutor can be changed at will, the judicial system can be effectively controlled by the ruling party even if judges remain nominally independent.

Convergence with China

Ironically, despite the "red herring" use of an alleged meeting between the chief prosecutor and a key witness in the Chen Family case, Chen Tsung-ming was by no means a confidant of the former DPP president and only gained his post due to the support of most KMT lawmakers who demanded legislative confirmation of a presidential nominee and fixed terms to secure "independence."

Chen's premature ouster and Ma's opportunity to name his own person to this critical post without any countervailing pressure from lawmakers violates the intent for greater independence and professionalism among prosecutors.

The demonstration value of Chen's premature ouster will ensure that few prosecutors will dare to indict KMT candidates for vote bribery, but will likely enjoy a free hand to prosecute malfeasance, real or manufactured, on the part of former DPP central government or current DPP local officials.

And, if the MOJ secures passage of draconian revisions to the criminal code, victims of political prosecution and the defense attorneys in Taiwan, as in China, will find themselves unable to openly protest defamation or judicial or prosecutor violation of human or judicial rights under pain of imprisonment for "contempt of court" or "contempt of prosecutors."

In sum, the ouster of the chief public prosecutor represents a thinly veiled move to return to the era during which, as crowed by ex-KMT secretary-general Hsu Shui-teh, "the KMT owns the courts."


By Sherlock Ho
2010-01-21 02:44 PM

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Central News Agency
According to the Taiwan News Poll Center, 69% of the net voters(wrapped up Jan. 21) agrees that KMT has carried a certain extent of weights in Control Yuan's impeachment against Prosecutor-General Chen Tsungming, who has tendered his resignation and got instant approval from President Ma, while only 31% believes that KMT never manipulates the investigation.

The impeachment explanation by Control Yuan utilizes Prosecutors Code and Civil Service Law to meet Chen's appeal that "give me a reason of law." However, Civil Service Law is filled with a series of concepts without specific penalty regulations. Impeaching Chen by this law smacks of the superiority of politics over law.

The thing that Chen has been accused of lack of integrity arouses universal concern. As a specially designated official, his conduct is under the spotlight. However, whether this accusation composes reasons of crimes falls into a grey penumbra.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

陳聰明: 沒有罪證 誓必彈劾
馬英九: 罪證如山 不聞不問

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自由時報 - ‎6小時之前‎
檢察總長陳聰明今天下午在得知遭監察院彈劾後,立即提出辭呈。(本報資料照,記者叢昌瑾攝) 監察院今天以八比三票數,通過最高法院檢察署檢察總長陳聰明彈劾案,監委李復甸(左起)、陳永祥、錢林慧君召開記者會說明。(記者簡榮豐攝) 〔記者項程鎮、劉志原/台北報導〕 ...

綠:馬黑手進監院 彈劾案符藍敗選檢討

中時電子報 - ‎6小時之前‎
監察院今天通過彈劾陳聰明,民進黨對此也有解讀意見。民進黨發言人蔡其昌表示,檢察總長陳聰明的司法改革作為有限,確有很多改進空間,但監察院為了符合國民黨立委補選失利的檢討報告,二度開會立即通過彈劾案,顯示總統馬英九的政治黑手已伸入監察院,監察院違背獨立公正 ...

陳聰明遭彈劾請辭 馬英九:從不干預審判和檢察系統

NOWnews - ‎6小時之前‎
監察院今(19)日通過檢察總長陳聰明彈劾案,而陳聰明隨後也宣布辭職。身兼國民黨主席的馬英九總統強調,他從來不干預也不介入司法案件,不論是審判系統 或檢察系統,因此,對於彈劾案的結果,他尊重監察院職權。 由監委李復甸、錢林慧君共同調查的陳聰明案,19日二次提出 ...

Monday, January 18, 2010

A fraud the judicial system will never touch: 國光疫苗

國光疫苗 makes headline news everyday. It is suspected of killing healthy children and making people seriously ill. There is clear government cover up and collusion. The judicial system sees nothing of interest.

Just as the judicial system will not touch 貓纜和柵湖線, it will not investigate 國光疫苗. 國光疫苗's stench of fraud is just as strong, if not stronger than that of 貓纜和柵湖線:
  • 2009-07-13: Adimmune (國光生技), the sole bidder, had won a NT$3 billion (US$94.4 million) government contract to produce 5 million doses of the (A)H1N1 vaccine.
  • Adimmune's (國光生技) chairman is Steve Chan (詹啟賢), deputy secretary-general of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Chan was also the deputy executive director of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) presidential campaign.
  • “Again and again, DOH officials have sided with Adimmune, something I have never seen in the US,” the source said. “If the commissioner of the [US] FDA, the head of the [US] CDC or the NIH endorsed a certain brand, they not only would be in clear violation of ethics codes, they would be committing political suicide.”
  • The source said Adimmune finished the clinical study on Oct. 21 and obtained the licensure on Nov. 12. The nationwide vaccine program started on Nov. 15.

    “According to the timeline, Adimmune couldn’t have made it in three weeks,” the source said. “This means they mass produced before an approval [license] was granted,” the source said.
  • “The DOH adamantly opposes disclosure,” Ho said. “That makes me think something is fishy.”
“As a federal government employee with experience in issuing contracts, and as a medical professional, I would say that if the same process occurred in the US, not only would it [make] the headlines in the Washington Post, but criminal investigations would follow,” she said

Taipei Times
Adimmune vaccine: Saving or risking lives?


1 月16日的台北時報有一篇由Michael Cole 執筆,針對國光疫苗的報導,報導題為:國光疫苗救命還是害命?(FEATURE: Adimmune vaccine: Saving or risking lives?),對國光與衛生署之間的互動,以及疫苗合約簽訂的過程有詳盡的報導,揭示了許多問題。



2008年6 月13日台灣疾管局宣布疫苗招標由唯一參與競標的國光得標,將生產H1N1疫苗。台灣政府總共花了三十億台幣購買國光疫苗。










換言之,儘管沒經驗,做的試驗規模小,國光還是很有信心,認為他們的產品很安全,跟有經驗,做過大型測試的廠牌一樣好:GSK測試了6,340 人,諾華測試了4,768人。













Taipei Times

FEATURE: Adimmune vaccine: Saving or risking lives?

By J. Michael Cole
Saturday, Jan 16, 2010, Page 2 The process through which Taichung County-based biotech company Adimmune Corp came to manufacture its A(H1N1) influenza vaccine was flawed and paved the way for safety concerns that have surrounded the vaccine, a US expert on infectious diseases told the Taipei Times this week.

Ho Mei-shang (何美鄉), a research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Biomedical Sciences and former director of biotechnology research at Adimmune, disputes this view, however, saying in an interview on Tuesday that the vaccine is safe and that there was nothing wrong with the process.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced on July 13 that Adimmune, the sole bidder, had won a government contract to produce 5 million doses of the (A)H1N1 vaccine, at NT$199 per dose, for delivery by the end of October. By early this month, Adimmune had provided 6.95 million doses, while Switzerland-based Novartis had provided 2.02 million (at about NT$400 per dose), out of the government’s purchases of 10 million and 5 million doses respectively.

The government has spent NT$3 billion (US$94.4 million) purchasing vaccines from Adimmune.

The problems begin when looking at the chain of events that led to the awarding of the contract, the US expert said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of her position.

As early as May 5, the CDC said that Adimmune, in cooperation with the National Health Research Institutes, would manufacture a domestic influenza vaccine. This was more than a month before a WHO survey of global flu vaccine production capacity on July 7 concluded that countries such as Taiwan that had not placed early orders for the vaccine would not get any vaccine after November.

Adimmune’s chairman is Steve Chan (詹啟賢), deputy secretary-general of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Chan was also the deputy executive director of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) presidential campaign.

For decades a producer of animal vaccines, Adimmune is the only firm in Taiwan with the capacity to produce human vaccines.

Prior to the A(H1N1) contract, it had never produced human vaccines on its own. All it did, the source said, was “package” vaccines made by other, mostly Japanese, companies.

Ho maintained, however, that through close cooperation with Japanese and Dutch vaccine makers, Adimmune “leapfrogged” and obtained the know-how to make human vaccines.

Most vaccine manufacturers, including GSK and Novartis, have decades of experience producing seasonal flu vaccines. While H1N1 is only a variant of the seasonal flu, major manufacturers usually obtain licensure from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expedite the process based on regulations regarding “strain change.”

Regardless, manufacturers providing H1N1 vaccines to the US have undergone clinical trials, most of which are sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


Adimmune, which had no experience producing the vaccine, should never have been allowed to enter an “expedited process,” the source said.

Adimmune only conducted a small-scale clinical trial with less than 500 subjects, far less than the 5,000 to 6,000 that are usually required for new vaccines.

Ho said that as the vaccine is based on the seasonal flu vaccine, it is not a new vaccine and therefore there was “no point” in conducting more rigorous testing.

The source, however, said that as Adimmune had never produced the seasonal flu vaccine, the Department of Health (DOH) should have demanded the company conduct more clinical trials.

“This is the scientific foundation to claim that a vaccine is ‘safe,’” the source said. “You can’t cut corners on this. Science requires replicability.”

In response, Ho said that, “lack of experience does not jeopardize quality. It just means more costs.”

Adimmune’s chairman has said that clinical trials are a “redundant procedure for bureaucrats,” adding that most Western countries had shortened them to speed up vaccinations.

In other words, despite its lack of experience, the company felt confident it could produce a safe product with few trials, while more experienced manufacturers that also entered an “expedited process” proceeded more cautiously — GSK did 6,340 tests, Novartis did 4,768 and the NIH conducted 3,951, data shows.

(The Novartis version of the vaccine sold to Taiwan is a H5N1 markup with an adjuvant, which was purchased via a special procurement as the adjuvant has yet to be approved in Taiwan.)

WHO guidelines for vaccine manufacturing show that three demo batches of a vaccine, as well as pre-approval inspection, must be completed before a vaccine can be released.

The source said Adimmune finished the clinical study on Oct. 21 and obtained the licensure on Nov. 12. The nationwide vaccine program started on Nov. 15.

“According to the timeline, Adimmune couldn’t have made it in three weeks,” the source said. “This means they mass produced before an approval [license] was granted,” the source said.

Ho confirmed this was the case.

“Adimmune was taking a chance,” Ho said, because if it failed to obtain approval, it would have “to discard all batches that had been produced beforehand.”

“I was among the very few top management team and I was adamant about going ahead to produce the vaccine as at that time, there appeared to [be] no other opportunity to secure H1N1 vaccines for ... Taiwan,” Ho said.

“My intention at the time was that we, the Taiwanese people ... would lose more if there was no H1N1 vaccine at all. Thus, with a certain degree of confidence in what Adimmune could achieve, the risk of failure was deemed slim and we went ahead,” Ho said.

“There was no ethical issue. It was all about regulation and it was OK as long as approval was obtained eventually,” she said.

“Because the approval was based on the inspection and documentation of consistency of three consecutive [vaccine] batches — even though the paperwork was completed later — it was retroactively applicable,” she said.

On Jan. 7, the DOH said autopsies showed that six of 17 deaths possibly related to the vaccine were due to other causes, with investigations continuing on the other 11.

Ho confirmed that all cases involved individuals who had received the Adimmune vaccine, adding that this didn’t mean the vaccine was less safe than Novartis’, as the majority of vaccines administered here were Adimmune’s.

The source also saw problems with the DOH.


“Again and again, DOH officials have sided with Adimmune, something I have never seen in the US,” the source said. “If the commissioner of the [US] FDA, the head of the [US] CDC or the NIH endorsed a certain brand, they not only would be in clear violation of ethics codes, they would be committing political suicide.”

When a legislator asked to monitor the egg production process (influenza vaccines are produced in fertilized chicken eggs), Adimmune said “it’s a commercial secret,” the source said. “Later, when the CDC head [Steve Kuo, 郭旭崧] was asked how the sterility of the eggs was assured, his answer was: ‘Adimmune examined it.’”

“Was there no DOH oversight?” the source asked.

Ho maintains that from the very beginning, the DOH kept a professional distance from Adimmune. There was no dialogue between Adimmune and the CDC, which was responsible for buying the vaccine, she said.

Despite Adimmune’s requests, the DOH also hasn’t allowed it to release clinical test results.

The reason, Ho said, is that “technically speaking, the clinical trial has not been finished.”

The contract stipulates that until then, no information can be disclosed.

“The DOH adamantly opposes disclosure,” Ho said. “That makes me think something is fishy.”

For the source, the vaccine mess is another example of the gambling attitude of the Ma administration, conflict of interest and lack of transparency.

“As a federal government employee with experience in issuing contracts, and as a medical professional, I would say that if the same process occurred in the US, not only would it [make] the headlines in the Washington Post, but criminal investigations would follow,” she said.

For Ho, the problem was poor government communication and media speculation. Chan’s role as chairman also made it easier to politicize the matter, she said.

“Adimmune is more than a private company — it does public health,” she said. “The firm could have gone bankrupt, but everybody worked hard to make it happen in time and provide Taiwan with a vaccine production facility.”

Asked if she’d taken the vaccine, Ho said, “Yes, — Adimmune’s.”

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Jerome Keating: prosecutors abuse their power (附加中文翻譯)

中文翻譯 by 洪萱芳

Taiwan's Prosecutors Continue to Abuse Their Power
Friday December 25, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Taiwan's prosecutors continue to abuse their power in the Chen Shui-bian case as they set out on yet another fishing expedition. They recently announced a fourth round of indictments (22 people) in Chen's case. So far they have called in just about anyone and everyone that ever shook hands with Chen or offered to buy him a cup of coffee.

Why are so many indicted? Despite having kept Chen in jail so long that he cannot prepare a proper defense, the prosecutors do not have a solid case of their own. They need to continue fishing. They need to find someone who they can threaten, bully or cajole to at least forge or fabricate a story to comply with their position. Or they hope by constant indictments to force Chen to bargain with them.

Contrast this abuse of power by prosecutors with three of the most obvious pan-blue cases. First there is the flagrant open and shut case of ex-legislator Diane Lee who illegally ripped Taiwan's taxpayers off of some US$3 million. Lee has never spent a day in jail; Lee still enjoys the money. None of her bank accounts have been frozen. Lee has two passports and can easily skip the country with either one. Yet as she continues to spend the taxpayer's money, Lee's prosecutors are debating whether they should even charge her for anything. Further what about the many members of Lee's family, relations and fellow KMT party who knew of her duplicity. Chen's case is in its fourth round of indictments. Why then have none ever been indicted or even called in for questioning in Lee's case?

Contrast this with the fact that only one person (a lowly secretary) went to jail in the money-laundering case of Ma Ying-jeou. This man went to jail for nine months for putting about a half a million US dollars in Ma's bank account. The mind boggles when the public is asked to believe that one lone secretary is the only perpetrator guilty of all this corruption and not even for his own pocket. Why has Ma been able to funnel money into his personal and private "non-profit" foundation?

Contrast this with James Soong found guilty three times of similar money-laundering and corruption. Yet surprisingly Soong never spent a day in jail and no one else was indicted along with him? Soong only paid back taxes on lesser amounts. In all of this, what of the fact that ironically Soong has never had a job in the past decade.

How does a man without work for over a decade finance two costly political campaigns for the presidency and one for mayor of Taipei? Or were those campaigns also fronts for money laundering? Why has no one else ever been indicted in Soong's cases? Where has Soong gotten all the money for his campaigns, his property in the USA and his numerous bank accounts?

There is no question that a large sum of money has been moved in the Chen case; but large and larger sums of money have always been moved from Taiwan since 1949 when the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) fled China. With Taiwan's vague and loose laws on campaign contributions and special allowance funds etc. the issue remains why is it illegal for one person of one party and not for the thousands of others who have consistently done it before and continue to do it. Not only that, the KMT dominated Legislative Yuan has recently floated the idea that they want to change the laws so it can be done legally but this will happen only after they have persecuted Chen. All this is in the name of fighting corruption. Diogenes left town a long time ago.

Jerome F. Keating Ph.D. 譯者 / 洪萱芳2010/01/03

當台灣的檢察官啟動另一波渾水摸魚似的尋找罪證,針對陳水扁案,繼續濫用公權力。他們最近公佈陳案第四波的起訴名單 (約有 22 人)。到目前為止,他們已經傳訊幾乎所有曾經跟陳水扁握過手,或是請他喝過咖啡的人到案訊問。

為 什麼有這麼多人被起訴呢?儘管已經將陳拘禁在牢裡這麼久,使他無法好好準備對其有利的辯護證詞,檢察官至今還是沒有一個證據充足的案件。他們當然必須要繼 續渾水摸魚。他們必須找到一個他們可以威脅利誘的人,來迫使其至少能夠能編造或杜撰一個跟他們立場一致說詞。或者他們其實希望要用持續不斷起訴的手段,迫 使陳能夠跟他們達成協議。

我們比較陳案之檢察官濫用權力的情況,和三件最明顯的泛藍案件。第一件是前立法委員李慶安罪惡昭彰極易明瞭的案 件,其以非法的手段剽竊台灣納稅人美金三百萬的稅金。李慶安從未坐過一天牢獄;她還在享用這筆錢。她沒有任何一個銀行帳戶遭到凍結。她現在正擁有雙重國 籍,能夠使用其中一本護照,匆匆秘密?國。然而,李慶安一面花用納稅人的金錢,另一面檢察官卻仍在辯論是否該控告她任何罪名。不僅如此,對於很多早已知道 李慶安雙重國籍身分的家人、親屬好友、以及同黨同志,又該如何處置呢?陳水扁的案子已經進入第四波的起訴。為什麼李案到現在仍沒有任何人被起訴,被傳訊到 案,或以共謀關係訊問呢?

再與馬英九的洗錢案中事實上只有一個人入獄 (一位低職等的秘書) 相比較。這個人因為將約五十萬美金放到馬的私人銀行帳戶,而入獄九個月。非常令人難以置信的是,社會大眾竟被要求相信這個秘書是唯一的罪犯,還要為不是放 入他自己口袋裡的金錢,背負所有的貪汙罪名。但為什麼馬和李慶安一樣,也可以將錢集中到他私人帳戶以及所謂的 「非營利」 基金會呢?



在 陳的案件中,大筆的金錢匯到海外是毫無疑問的,然而自從 1949 年國民黨逃離中國之後,一直有大筆大筆的金錢從台灣匯往海外。在台灣鬆散且渾沌不明的選舉獻金及特別費的規範下,主要的問題一直都是,為什麼這些做法在某 一政黨的某一個人身上是違法的,而對其他曾經做過且繼續同樣做法的千百人,卻是無罪的!不僅如此,國民黨所主導的立法院,最近傳?一個想要修訂現行法律好 讓金錢可以合法匯往海外的消息,只是這個法律修訂必須在他們迫害陳水扁之後才能啟動。所有這些事都是以反貪污為名。包公歸來乎?馬無法,馬無天!