Thu, Jul 08, 2004 - Page 1 News List

NSB alerted to attack on Chen: report

TIP-OFF According to a Control Yuan report, the National Security Bureau had dismissed a tip-off about a plan to shoot the president due to a lack of evidence

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

A day before the attack on President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), the National Security Bureau had received a tip-off that a pan-green supporter intended to shoot the president in order to swing the vote in Chen's favor, the Control Yuan reported.

Chen and Lu were wounded by gunfire on the afternoon of March 19, one day before the presidential election, while they were campaigning in the streets of Tainan City.

The Control Yuan said in an impeachment report that the security bureau had received information on March 18 about a possible attack on the president, but did not take the intelligence seriously.

According to the report, a bureau agent in charge of security in the south of the country, Tang Jung-min (唐榮民), received information on the night of March 18 that a "gangster-like" supporter of the pan-green camp in his 30s or 40s had declared several times that, due to the Chen campaign's underdog position, "he would not rule out the possibility of shooting former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and Chen, without endangering their lives, and blaming the pan-blue camp for the shooting."

Tang consequently investigated these claims and found them to be correct and reliable. He also concluded that the planned shooting was related to bets in Tainan City worth NT$200 million that were riding on the result of the presidential election, the Control Yuan report stated.

According to the report, Tang then alerted his superior, Lai Cheng-yi (賴政義), but Lai considered the evidence to be insufficient and did not relay the intelligence to officials higher up in the bureau.

Lai was one of the nine officials impeached by the Control Yuan on Tuesday for dereliction of duty.

Tang also faxed the information to the National Police Administration with help from the Tainan City Police Bureau, but the administration found the fax only after the shooting.

Meanwhile, a local Chinese-language daily reported that former security bureau chief Hu Chen-chiu (胡鎮球) had warned the deputy director-general of the National Police Administration, Liu Shih-lin (劉世林), on the morning of March 19 that someone was planning to shoot the president.

Liu then informed five police bureaus in the south, but since they could not further verify the information, they did not report it to the National Security Bureau.

But according to the newspaper report, Hu's source was a member of the National Security Bureau, and he relayed the intelligence to the police chief because he suspected the bureau of negligence concerning the tip-off.

Also see story:

March 19 committee progressing

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