Wed, Mar 10, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Lien presses charges over allegations by former Taiwan Pineapple official

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) yesterday pressed charges against former Taiwan Pineapple Group (台鳳) vice chairman Huang Tsung-hung (黃宗宏) for libel and violation of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Law (總統副總統選罷法).

Lien accused Huang of spreading false information to the media and the public in an attempt to influence the election.

Huang wrote to the media two days ago, stating that he had twice provided political donations to the KMT. In his letter, Huang said that his donations were similar to the Chen Yu-hao (陳由豪) bribery scandal.

The first donation was made in 1998, when Huang gave NT$100 million to the KMT as a political donation to prevent the stock price of Taiwan Pineapple from falling, according to Huang. The second donation was made in 1999, when former Pingtung County commissioner Wu Tse-yuan (伍澤元), then a legislator, offered to help Huang get a loan from a state-run bank if Huang agreed to pay a kickback.

The donations were both linked to Lien, and Huang implied that Lien took a part of the donations.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus yesterday attacked Lien, saying former Chang Hwa Bank (彰化銀行) chairman Tsai Mao-hsing (蔡茂興) was close to Lien and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), and that Tsai and Wu were accomplices. The DPP said Lien was the ultimate beneficiary in the case.

Lien pressed charges against Huang yesterday afternoon.

Chang Hwa Bank yesterday also denied that it lent money to Taiwan Pineapple after Huang paid Wu in 1999.

"We did approve Taiwan Pineapple's application for borrowing conditionally, but because Taiwan Pineapple could not have Citibank issue a letter of credit as required, the application was rejected," Chang Hwa vice president Hsieh Chao-nan (謝昭男) said.

KMT-PFP spokesman Alex Tsai (蔡正元) said yesterday that Huang and Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Chen Che-nan (陳哲男) were friends, but Chen Che-nan denied the charge.

The PFP caucus offered evidence in the afternoon to show that Huang and Chen were quite familiar with each other and had business relations.

The PFP produced a land registration document showing that Chen Che-nan's son, Chen Chi-yao (陳其堯), co-owned land in Pingtung County with the Dimen Arts Company (帝門藝術公司) and Huang's mother, and that they mortgaged the land together in exchange for a sum that was much greater than the land value.

"The arts company is actually an affiliate of Taiwan Pineapple, while Huang Yeh Tung-mei (黃葉冬梅) is Huang's mother. This shows the Chens and the Huangs knew each other well and even did business together," said Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀), director of the PFP's Center for Policy Research.

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