Thu, Nov 23, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Eric Chen begins probe into funds of DPP big shots

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Prosecutor Eric Chen (陳瑞仁) yesterday launched investigations into the handling of special allowance funds by the vice president and several other prominent DPP politicians.

"Investigators have taken a number of documents from the Taoyuan County Government on Vice President Annette Lu's (呂秀蓮) handling of her special allowance funds during her time as Taoyuan county commissioner," Taoyuan County Commissioner Chu Li-lun (朱立倫), a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member, told the press yesterday.

Lu was Taoyuan county commissioner from 1997 to 2000.

"If politicians can accuse Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of alleged misuse of his special mayoral expense fund, I believe that prominent Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politicians should also face the same kind of scrutiny," Chu added.

Lu yesterday told the press that she welcomed prosecutors to probe her handling of special allowance funds during her tenure as vice president and Taoyuan county commissioner. But she said she would like the prosecutors to investigate former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) of the KMT and Chu over their use of special allowance funds during their tenure as public servants as well.

KMT Legislator Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) and other KMT legislators filed a lawsuit asking prosecutors to probe the vice president, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun and former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) -- the DPP's Taipei mayoral candidate. The suit came after Ma was accused by DPP lawmakers of misusing his special mayoral fund.

Prosecutor Hou Kuan-jen (侯寬仁) is handling the probe into Ma's usage of his special allowance fund while Prosecutor Eric Chen is handling the probe into the four DPP members.

Eric Chen late last month indicted first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) on corruption and forgery charges in connection with the handling of the presidential office's "state affairs fund."

Hou and Eric Chen are both with the Black Gold Investigation Center of the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors' Office.

Taiwan High Court Prosecutors' Office spokesman Chang Wen-cheng (張文政) yesterday told reporters the investigations into the special allowance funds were being conducted "collectively" to avoid any chance of using different investigation standards from those applied during the first family's probe.

Meanwhile, the Taipei District Court yesterday announced that the trial for Wu's case would begin on Dec. 15.

The court is planning to broadcast the hearing live, therefore allowing the public to view the proceedings.

Additional reporting by Flora Wang

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