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President still lives in martial law era: legislator
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-04-04 06:37 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – President Ma Ying-jeou still thinks he lives under martial law because he wants to use laws from that era to punish the students occupying the Legislative Yuan, Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Yu Mei-nu said.

Prosecutors were reportedly looking into the possibility of interrogating an estimated 205 students involved in the occupation of the Legislature since March 18 and in the short-lived March 23-24 occupation of the Executive Yuan.

During a meeting with foreign visitors Thursday, the president reportedly condemned the students’ actions and said they had already violated a law against the forceful occupation of public property.

Yu told a legislative committee that the law, which under martial law had the death penalty as the only possible sentence, had been abolished since 2002. Martial law ended in the late 1980s after the formation of the DPP. Yu accused Ma of having no practical knowledge of the law despite having studied law and served as justice minister.

Since the president did not even know which laws had been abolished or not, maybe it was time for the Ministry of Justice to offer him a course to refresh his memory, Yu said.

Student leader Chen Wei-ting also accused Ma of still living in the martial law era, since he still mentioned and respected legislation from that period.

After a meeting of top officials Thursday, Ma and his Kuomintang administration were reportedly taking a tougher line against the occupiers, accusing them of violating democracy and of using violence. The change in tone was linked by some to the installation of former representative to the United States King Pu-tsung as new secretary-general of the National Security Council.

DPP lawmaker Wu Yi-chen accused the authorities of being more interested in prosecuting the students than in finding out who was responsible for several acts of violence around the Legislative Yuan, including knife attacks, the throwing of pebbles from the top of a building at protesters, and the police action against the Executive Yuan occupiers.

There were still no results in the investigation into which police officer beat Taiwan Solidarity Union lawmaker Chou Ni-an, Wu said. Judiciary officials said that because of the confidentiality of the investigation, it was impossible to reveal more details about its progress for the time being.

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