Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Yeh Sheng-mao, Traitor to the Bureau of Investigation

Yeh Sheng-mao, Traitor to the Bureau of Investigation
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
August 20, 2008

Chen Shui-bian's family has engaged in money-laundering. Late last year their activities were exposed by an international anti-money laundering organization. Foreign prosecutors repeatedly asked our government to assist their investigation. To everyones' surprise, they were repeatedly blocked by our executive branch. Most contemptible of all, Bureau of Investigation Chief Yeh Sheng-mao buried the case for seven months, forfeiting the opportunity to strike while the iron was hot.

Late last year the Egmont Group, an international money-laundering prevention and control organization, discovered that First Daughter-in-Law Huang Jui-ching's account exhibited an abnormal number of large transactions. The group noticed that these huge sums were not commensurate with Huang Jui-ching and her husband's income. On January 28, Cayman Islands prosecutors informed the ROC Bureau of Investigation Money Laundering Prevention Center, asking for its assistance in their investigation. When the Money Laundering Prevention Center informed the Prosecutor General's Office, Bureau of Investigation Chief Yeh Sheng-mao cited "issues of sensitivity" as an excuse to personally pass the case on to Attorney General Chen Tsung-ming. As expected, nothing was heard of the case after that. As a result of the change in ruling parties in May, Swiss prosecutors made the connection between the case and Chen Shui-bian, and notified our Ministry of Foreign Affairs twice over the past six to seven months. Otherwise, Yeh Sheng-mao would have covered the crime up completely, dropping it forever down the memory hole, leaving nary a trace.

Whether Yeh Sheng-mao or Chen Tsung-ming were derelict in their duties will have to await the Ministry of Justice's final report. Based on the two officials' rhetoric however, Chen Tsung-ming's role needs further clarification, while Yeh Sheng-mao's crime of concealing public documents is all too clear. One. Yeh Sheng-mao removed documents that the Money Laundering Prevention Center issued to prosecutors. He neither turned them over to Chen Tsung-ming, nor returned them. This already qualifies as a cover up. Two. Chou Yu-yi, the Director of the Money Laundering Prevention Center, asked Yeh Sheng-mao whether he had turned the documents over to Chen Tsung-ming, twice. But Yeh was never able to show Chou a signed receipt for the documents. Obviously Yeh was lying. Three. Yeh Sheng-mao repeatedly changed his story. First he said that Chen Tsung-ming submitted a document. Later he said Chen merely made an oral report. Still later he said the case was on hold due to the election. Finally he said the reason he hadn't taken any action on the case whatsoever was that he was "busy planning his retirement."

Yeh Sheng-mao repeatedly changed his story, contradicting himself. But he was unable to disguise the fact that he covered up a crime. This was not merely a case of misprision of felony. On the one hand he concealed evidence from prosecutors. On the other hand he fabricated lies to mislead the Money Laundering Prevention Center, hoping they would shelve the case. This constitutes a serious dereliction of duty. If Yeh Sheng-mao is guilty of misprision of felony, and also of informing Chen Shui-bian about the matter, helping him plan his escape, destroying relevant evidence, then he is also guilty of violating civil service laws against leaking secrets and destroying evidence. No matter what, Yeh Sheng-mao, as Chief of the Bureau of Investigation, abused his authority covering up crimes. He kept the judiciary in the dark for seven months. He sat on his hands and refused to investigate the case. He betrayed the nation's system of justice. Everyone should denounce him.

Chen Shui-bian ruled for eight years. He reduced a civil service system that ought to have remained politically neutral, into a chameleon that changes its colors with the political winds. Yeh Sheng-mao's outrages against justice, are merely the tip of the iceberg. In recent years, such outrages have proliferated, including the Sogo Gift Certificates case and the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit case. Bureau of Investigation officers are suspected of tipping off politicians, and even tutoring them on how to evade prosecution. Yeh Sheng-mao himself is suspected of leaking information to Green Camp bigwigs in the Hualien Gravel scandal and other scandals. When the Chief of the Bureau of Investigation, who stands on the frontlines of the judicial process, engages in such conduct, it's no wonder Liu Kuan-ping, ROC Representative to Switzerland, had the chutzpah to withhold documents provided by Swiss prosecutors from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Did Chen Tsung-ming ever received an oral report of the case from Yeh Sheng-mao? Did he refuse to accept the case because it was a hot potato? Further investigation is required. The Money Laundering Prevention Center created a case file and filed official documents. Did Yeh Sheng-mao apply pressure from above to prevent further action? Were civil servants passive and fearful of controversy? Did they adopt a self-imposed, wait-and-see attitude? All these possibilities should be investigated. Especially since the case involves the heads of both the Bureau of Investigation and the Special Investigative Unit. The Special Investigative Unit must recuse itself and be replaced by other investigative bodies.

Foreign judiciaries are working together to track down transnational crimes. Our executive and judiciary, meanwhile, have been diligently sheltering criminals, and burying other nations' case files. How despicable. How shameful. How pathetic. Chen Shui-bian enriched himself by laundering money. He shamed Taiwan. He paralyzed prosecutors and investigators. Yeh Sheng-mao was his hatchetman, his accomplice, and a traitor to our entire justice system.

Yeh Sheng-mao knew the law and broke the law. The Ministry of Justice must not show him one iota of mercy. Yeh Sheng-mao covered up crimes. He deliberately wasted seven critical months of time. Prosecutors and investigators must work together to uncover the truth behind the money laundering case. Only the truth can purge our justice system of this unprecedented black mark against its honor.

司法叛徒葉盛茂 還我七個月來!
2008.08.20 03:17 am









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