Former Panamanian president Mireya Moscoso will sue the group of People First Party (PFP) law-makers who alleged she received a US$1 million "settlement" from President Chen Shui-bian (
According to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report, Moscoso said she was "going to put a halt to this campaign of calumnies."
Moscoso's statement on Thursday was in response to allegations made by PFP caucus whip Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄), Legislator Tsai Chung-han (蔡中涵) and UFO Radio chairman Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康), who said Chen had presented a check of US$1 million to her as a birthday gift and as a "settlement fee" for Chen's "improper dealings," apparently referring to sexual harassment.
"This could be the first of a series of lawsuits to be filed against those who seek to stain my reputation, here in Panama or abroad," Moscoso was quoted as saying in the AFP report.
Moscoso's presidency ended last month after an election loss to President Martin Torrijos in May.
Earlier on Thursday, Chen instructed lawyer Wellington Koo (顧立雄) to sue the three men. Instead of seeking financial compensation if the court finds for him, Chen has asked that the verdict be published and that the three apologize in five Chinese-language newspapers over three consecutive days.
Liu fired back yesterday by saying that Panamanian Prosecutor General Jose Antonio Sosa had announced an investigation into whether a NT$45 million donation to the Mar del Sur Foundation set up by Moscoso was mishandled. He said Moscoso's decision to sue him and his colleagues might have been motivated by the need to "protect herself," though he did not elaborate on this.
Liu also said there was a hint of Taiwanese-style politicking in Moscoso's threat to commence legal action.
"Since Chen has also filed suit against me, I just wonder if the Presidential Office is joining hands with outsiders to fight against Taiwanese [Taiwanren]?" Liu said at a news conference held yesterday afternoon.
Liu also speculated that Moscoso might use funds from the Mar del Sur Foundation for the lawsuit.
If so, he asked, "would there end up being a scenario in which Taiwanese taxpayers' money was being used to fight against a Taiwanese?"
Liu is a Mainlander.
In an unusual development, some of Liu's colleagues from the pan-blue alliance, including KMT Legislator Sun Kuo-hua (
At a separate news conference held earlier yesterday morning, Liu had acknowledged "there were flaws in [his Wednesday] remarks" and offered an apology, but only for using vulgar language.
He insisted however that he had not erred in pursuing issues concerning diplomatic donations and said that it was necessary to continue "hunting for the truth" of the matter.
In contrast to Liu's offer of an apology, Jaw yesterday said that he would sue Chen if the president did not clarify within three days whom he was referring to when he cited a poem verse on Thursday which read, "many devils are there where men are sparse" (
Chen was apparently describing his feelings about the pending lawsuit and the allegations made against him.
"If Chen does not make a clarification in three days, I will take legal action against him because I think the `devil' he was referring to was me," he said.