Thu, Nov 13, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Lee knew of Zanadau proposal

COURT HEARINGThe former president said he was aware of plans of invest KMT money in Zanadau Development when he was president, but accepted the plan on trust

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Police officers try to stop a scuffle between supporters and opponents of former president Lee Teng-hui outside the Taipei District Prosecutors' office yesterday. Lee was at the office to testify in the Znandau scandal along with former China Development Holding Corp chairman Liu Tai-ying.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) told judges yesterday that former China Development Holding Corp chairman Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英) informed him of the proposal to invest Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) money in Zanadau Development Corp but he could not remember the details.

"Honestly, I can't really remember that there was a `Zanadau case' among the proposals I approved," Lee said. "I trusted his professional suggestions that could make money for the KMT. However, I did not read every single proposal by Liu very carefully."

Lee said his only concern in approving Liu's proposals was that they stood to benefit the KMT.

Lee told judges that Liu is a good investor and made a lot of money for the party.

The former president made the remarks during a court hearing hosted by Taipei Judge Lin Chuan-cheng (林銓正). Lee's appearance marked the first time a former president has testified in a legal case.

The hearing was one of several on the Zanadau case and focussed on clarifying whether Liu had made any investments without authorization. It was also looking into whether Lee was aware of all the deals processed by Liu while Lee was KMT chairman and Liu was chairman of the party's Investment and Business Management Committee in 1995.

During the hearing, Liu said he would not make important decisions without Lee's approval.

"Any investment that was worth more than NT$200 million would not be processed without Lee's approval," Liu said.

"Investing in Zanadau stocks was a NT$300 million deal."

Zanadau's majority shareholder, Su Hui-chen (蘇惠珍), who first made public the scandal last year, was also summoned for yesterday's hearing.

Su told reporters she believed Lee had little to do with the case.

"I don't think that Lee knew much about the case because Liu was the man who had the access to KMT money," Su said.

Su said it was the first time she had met Lee face to face, but that it was not the first time she had seen him in person.

Judges and prosecutors focused on questioning Liu in the morning. They began questioning Lee at 1pm.

To protect the former president, the Taipei District Court allowed only 38 reporters and 60 members of the public to attend the proceedings.

In addition, the Taipei City Police Department and the National Police Administration's First Peace Preservation Corps sent 248 officers to the scene to maintain public order.

Hundreds of Lee supporters were in a standoff with a pro-China crowd outside the court yesterday. The incident led to minor arguments but no major injuries were reported and no one was arrested.

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