以下原文摘錄自 Science 雜誌網站

In a closely watched case, a Taiwanese court today dismissed an industrial conglomerate’s defamation suit against an academic whose research suggested that elevated cancer rates in central Taiwan were caused by emissions from the conglomerate’s chemical plants.

最近台灣法庭駁回台灣一家工業集團對一位學者提出的誹謗訴訟案。這位學者的研究指出這家工業集團的化工廠所排放的廢物,是造成中台灣罹癌率偏高的元兇。

Despite the favorable ruling, “the case has already had a chilling effect on Taiwan’s academic community,” claims Severia Lu, an attorney at the Taipei-based Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, who with others represented the defendant.

即使這項判決是一件喜訊,辯護律師代表陸詩薇認為此事已經對台灣的學術社群造成寒蟬效應。

The trouble started in December 2010 when Ben-Jei Tsuang, an environmental engineer at Taiwan’s National Chung Hsing University in Taichung, started presenting findings at scientific meetings and to government agencies showing elevated cancer rates in Mailiao, in central Taiwan, and linked them to emissions from an industrial complex with plants owned by several companies belonging to the Formosa Plastics Group (FPG). According to Tsuang’s legal team, the complex—encompassing everything from power generation to the manufacture of chemicals, plastics, and synthetic fibers—has 387 chimneys and flues. In April 2012, two FPG companies—Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corporation and Mailiao Power Corporation—sued Tsuang in Taipei District Court for defamation, seeking $1.3 million in damages and a statement of apology to be carried in four major newspapers.

這件事情始於2010年12月中興大學環工教授莊秉潔陸續在學術研討會以及對政府部門發表其科學研究結果,指出中台灣的麥寮地區罹癌率提高,與台塑集團的的工廠排放有關。莊秉潔的律師團指出:台塑集團旗下的工廠:從發電廠到化工、塑膠以及合成纖維的製造工廠,共有高達387根煙囪。2012年四月,台塑其團旗下的兩家公司:台塑化纖以及麥寮電廠,向台北地方法院對莊秉潔提起誹謗訴訟,求償名譽損害130萬美元,並要求在四大報登報道歉。

The court’s rationale for dismissing the suit won’t be known until it releases its full decision in a week or two. In a press release issued after the ruling, National Chung Hsing University called the case “a typical SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against publication participation) aiming to silence civil criticism through legal threats.” Lu says that “FPG has more than enough money to do its own research to rebut professor Tsuang’s claims, but they chose not to do that.” She adds that FPG did not comply with the Taipei District Court’s request for emissions data.

在最近一兩周法院的判決書全文出來之前,法院對於駁回的解釋並不得而知。在此項結果宣布之後,中興大學發布新聞稿指出,這起訴訟是典型的「針對公眾參與的策略性訴訟」,意即以法律手段來打壓公眾評論。陸律師指出:台塑集團明明就有雄厚的資本可以自行作對應的研究來反駁莊教授的主張,但是他們卻沒有這麼做。陸律師並指出,台塑集團根本沒有應台北地方法院的要求,交出其工廠排放的相關數據。

By last December, some 1300 Taiwanese and foreign academics signed an online open letter condemning FPG for its suit against Tsuang. Despite that support, Lu says that when a proposed FPG expansion was going through the environmental impact assessment process last year, not a single scholar “dared to speak for the environment.”

去年12月,約1300位台灣以及海外學者連署發表公開信,譴責台塑對莊秉潔提出控告的行為。儘管有這樣的支援,陸律師說,去年一項台塑集團的擴建案在進行環評時,沒有任何一位學者 膽敢為環境發聲

Tsuang’s ordeal is not over. Lu expects the two FPG companies to appeal. They are also pursuing a criminal complaint of aggravated defamation against Tsuang. In a statement posted on its website, FPG said that it would study the verdict and then decide how to respond.

莊秉潔的考驗並沒有就此落幕。陸詩薇律師認為台塑集團對莊秉潔提出告訴的兩家公司還會再繼續上訴。這兩家公司另外還將對莊秉潔提起加重誹謗的刑事訴訟。台塑集團在其網站發表聲明指出,待研究完判決書之後會再決定如何回應法院的判決結果。

In its press release, National Chung Hsing University called on FPG “to stop all civil and criminal suits against professor Tsuang” and “to fulfill its corporate social responsibilities in protecting and enhancing the wellbeing of the residents and environment in central Taiwan.”

中興大學在其新聞稿中呼籲台塑集團 停止一切對莊秉潔教授的民事與刑事訴訟 以及 負起企業對於照顧中台灣居民以及保護環境的社會責任

leeneil 速譯


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