Wed, Jul 07, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Special team to aid assassination probe

SEARCH FOR TRUTH President Chen Shui-bian said the special committee would assist the current task force and help eliminate any possible obstacles to its investigation

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday announced the imminent creation of a special investigative committee into the March 19 shooting incident. He said that it would be an unofficial and temporary mechanism to facilitate uncovering the truth behind the assassination attempt.

"This 319 special committee, which will be organized with 11 to 13 members from all political parties, Control Yuan members and civil representatives, belongs to neither the Presidential Office nor the government. Control Yuan President Frederick Chien (錢復) has promised to lead the committee," Chen said.

"Everybody in the government departments relevant to the gunshot incident, no matter how high their rank or how classified the department, should cooperate with the committee. They will have no excuse to reject [its requests]," Chen said.

The president and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday invited the heads of the government's five branches to the Presidential Office to discuss means of uncovering the truth about the assassination attempt.

Chen said that he was considering how to keep the public's trust, ease the disputes among political parties, stabilize society and unite the people of Taiwan.

"Many people reminded me that I must abide by the spirit of the Constitution to respect the independence of the judicial system, and therefore they oppose the formation of a special committee. However, I also have to respect the Legislative Yuan, in which the majority [the opposition alliance] strongly advocate the necessity of creating a special mechanism to replace the current government investigation task force, which was organized by the police department and judiciary system," Chen said.

"Former vice president Li Yuan-zu (李元簇), one of the heavyweights I recently consulted, reminded me that a special committee had been established in 1955 under the leadership of then vice president Chen Cheng (陳誠) to investigate General Sun Li-jen's (孫立人) revolt," Chen said.

The president did not explain what the official rights and obligations of the special committee will be, nor how it will function.

Chen said that the goals of the special committee would be to assist the current task force and help eliminate any possible obstacle which may interfere with the task force's action.

After yesterday's meeting, Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) held a press conference to further explain the ideas behind the special committee.

"The establishment of the new special committee displays President Chen's resolve to seek the truth. The committee's main function is not to solve the gunshot incident, but to create an environment without obstacles for the government's special investigative task force," Su said.

Su said that Control Yuan President Chien and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) endorsed the president's idea and that both advocated the promulgation of a new law to support the legitimacy of the special committee.

"We believe that the establishment of the special committee will not violate the Constitution, and the president also urged the passing of special legislation," Su said.

"Since President Chen vowed to cooperate completely with the committee, I think that every person, any official, will act in the same manner," Su said.

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