Taiwan's courts are illegal, its legitimate ruler is the US military and US President Barack Obama and Defence Secretary Dr Robert Gates should be hauled before an American judge to explain why the Pentagon has failed to uphold its jurisdiction. So says Chen Shui-bian, who is vowing to take the pair to court as a means of securing his release from life imprisonment for corruption. 'If it is possible, [Chen] is willing to testify in the US,' said Chiang Chih-ming, an aide to the former Taiwanese president, after visiting him in his cell at the Taipei Detention Centre. Chen has sought bail to prepare his appeal against the life terms Taipei District Court passed on him and his wife, Wu Shu-chen, two weeks ago. Chen, who insists he is innocent, will launch his lawsuit against Obama and Gates today through the US-based Formosa Nation Legal-Strategy Association, which advocates independence for Taiwan. In a declaration backing his lawsuit, Chen says Taiwan became Japanese property in 1895. The US military's administrative authority over Taiwan began with the surrender of Japanese troops on October 25, 1945, and the 1952 US-Japan peace treaty signed in San Francisco recognises this authority, he says. The US never abandoned its 'occupying power' status so the island belongs to the US, not the Republic of China, he argues. 'I believe the Taiwanese should be entitled to certain fundamental rights under the constitution and laws of the US, especially the rights to life, liberty, property and due process of law,' he concludes.