The Taipei High Administrative Court on Thursday ruled against National Taiwan University (NTU) professor emeritus Ho De-fen (???) after she filed an appeal against the Ministry of Education (MOE) over the doctorate President Tsai Ing-wen (???) earned from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
According to the court, Ho has no legal right to ask the MOE to de-classify related documents to enable her to verify the authenticity of Tsai's doctorate certificate.
In addition, the education ministry already provided Ho with Tsai's resume and the academic credentials during a trial on June 3, which met Ho's demand, the court said.
In conjunction with political talk show host Dennis Peng (???) and Hwan C. Lin (???), a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's Belk College of Business, Ho has since 2019 alleged that Tsai's doctorate degree was forged, enabling her to teach at National Chengchi University (NCCU).
In September 2019, Tsai filed a defamation lawsuit against the trio, with Peng indicted for aggravated libel, and prosecutors declining to indict the other two.
Ho filed the lawsuit against the education ministry after it rejected her request in September last year to provide documents relating to Tsai's time as a visiting associate professor at NCCU in 1984. The ministry indicated that the documents have been classified and will be kept confidential for 30 years until 2049.
The National Security Information Protection Act established a classified national security information protection system for the purpose of safeguarding national security and the national interest. No private individual has the right to ask the competent authority to explain such a decision or why information is classified, the court said in its ruling.
Regarding Ho's request that the education ministry provide her with Tsai's doctoral dissertation and employment certificate when teaching at NCCU, the court said the ministry had returned the papers to Tsai and therefore could not hand them to Ho.
Ho's demand for NT$10 million (US$358,761) in national compensation to cover the cost of traveling to Britain, where she hired a lawyer to help her collect information, was also rejected because Ho could not provide evidence to support the claim or prove any correlation between the two matters, it said.
The court said Ho's demands were unreasonable and rejected her appeal. The ruling can be further appealed.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel