Mon, Jul 26, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Tien Hung-mao asks for fair treatment on arrival

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

Tien Hung-mao (田弘茂), Taiwan's representative to the UK and former foreign minister, asked for fair treatment during investigative procedures for errors in a case dealing with fugitive murder suspect Andrew Wang (汪傳浦) last night.

He said that while he would take full responsibility for any administrative mistakes leading up to the passport scandal, he did not wish to be castigated for something in which he had no part.

Tien, speaking from CKS International Airport in Taoyuan upon his return to the country, gave a simple five-point statement to assembled media in a preliminary explanation to the public about his role in a scandal revealed by the foreign ministry last Friday.

Yeh Hsiu-chen (葉秀貞), Wang's wife, was revealed by the ministry to have been issued a new passport by the representative office in the UK when Yeh applied for one, claiming she had lost her own. The office also issued Yeh six authorization papers allowing real-estate transfers on May 27th, leading to ministry suspicions of a conspiracy.

Wang, a former arms dealer wanted for his involvement in the death of Navy Captain Yin Ching-feng (尹清楓) in 1993, and his family have been under close watch since he was suspected of using ministry-issued notarization papers to unfreeze money in Swiss bank accounts in 2001.

Tien, who has already tendered his resignation over the affair, was ordered back to the country by Premier Yu Shyi-kun on Saturday to give an accounting of his role in the scandal and is facing possible disciplinary measures if he is found to have acted in error.

Tien asked that the difficult position of Taiwan's diplomats abroad be considered, saying that investigative procedures are greatly hampered in countries where there are no diplomatic relations.

Tien said that he was on vacation in March when the passport scandal broke.

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