Wed, Aug 23, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Shih's first wife races to Taipei to keep letter secret

PRISON MAIL The former DPP chairman's first wife said she would expose `immorality' and `incest' in his family if they continued to deny the authenticity of the letter

By Ko Shu-ling and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Chen Li-chu, ex-wife of former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Shih Ming-teh, puts down a bag at a press conference yesterday which she said contained letters Shih had written to her and the government from prison. DPP Legislator Lin Kuo-ching, right, had planned to unveil a letter from Shih to Chiang Kai-shek, but refrained from doing so after Chen objected.


Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Shih Ming-teh's (施明德) first wife yesterday tearfully appealed to the party not to make public a letter Shih had written during his imprisonment to ask for forgiveness from dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石).

Despite her disapproval of her ex-husband's campaign against Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Shih's former wife Chen Li-chu (陳麗珠) showed up at the Legislative Yuan compound yesterday morning before DPP Legislator Lin Kuo-ching (林國慶) was scheduled to hold a press conference to reveal the letter.

Lin was forced to scrap his announcement and let Chen Li-chu tell her tale.

"I'm the owner of the letter, so I should be the one to tell the public what really happened," she said.

"I've put up with him [Shih] for over 40 years and have never done anything to hurt him. I don't understand why he is so cruel to me. I really don't," Chen Li-chu said.

She threatened to expose what she claimed were "immoral" incidents and "incest" in Shih's family if he and his family continued to provoke her by calling her a "whore" and denying the authenticity of the letter to Chiang. She did not elaborate.

The tearful 60-something Chen Li-chu said that she had taken the train from Kaohsiung to Taipei on Monday night, hoping to stop Lin before he revealed the contents of the letter.

She said that she had been offered NT$2 million (US$62,500) for the letter, but had turned it down.

"It's priceless. I would not sell it even for NT$20 billion, because it contains evidence of the Chinese Nationalist Party's [KMT] hideous crimes," she said.

Lin said that he had obtained a copy of the letter from a friend of Chen Li-chu. Shih had written the original in pencil and had given it to Chen Li-chu to smuggle out of prison, after which it had been transcribed in ink.

Chen Li-chu said that although she was disappointed with President Chen, he was nonetheless the country's elected leader.

Chen Li-chu brought a heavy black bag to the press conference, saying it contained thousands of letters Shih had written to her and the then KMT government during his incarceration, as well as the government's responses.

She also thanked the president for giving Shih NT$2 million (US$61,260) to help pay for their daughter Shih Shueh-hui's (施雪蕙) medical expenses.

Chen Li-chu said that she did not know where the money had come from until she read a report in a newspaper a few days ago, but said that Shih had given her only NT$200,000.

DPP Legislator Wang Shih-cheng (王世堅) has alleged that Shih first borrowed NT$2 million from the president and later another NT$500,000 after Chen Shui-bian gave him NT$1 million to take care of his sick daughter.

Wang called on Shih to present a clear account of how much money he had received from the president and how he spent it.

While Shih's lawyer has said that Shih spent only NT$6 million on a condominium which Wang claimed had been a gift from fugitive tycoon Chen Yu-hao (陳由豪) and which was worth more than NT$34 million, Wang yesterday asked Shih to explain where he had acquired the money, as Shih stated in his 2001 financial declaration that he had only NT$1.3 million in the bank.

Even if Shih did spend NT$6 million on the condo, Wang said, he still owed the public an explanation why he did not list the condo in his 2001 financial declaration.

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