Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (
He also denied widespread speculation that the outcome of the investigation would be announced today, while declining to confirm whether or not he had visited prosecutors on Wednesday morning to defend himself.
"The case is still under investigation and I should not make any comments before the investigations are complete," Ma, a former Taipei mayor, told reporters yesterday at KMT headquarters.
KMT Spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) later confirmed that Ma had, on his own initiative, visited the Black Gold Investigation Center at 7:30am on Wednesday. Su said Ma had explained once again to prosecutors that he had acted within the regulations when he wired half of his mayoral allowance to his personal bank account.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers last August accused Ma of embezzling half of his special monthly mayoral allowance -- NT$170,000 -- by depositing the funds into his personal bank account.
At the end of last year, Ma was twice questioned by Prosecutor Hou Kuan-jen (
Ma said yesterday that the investigation was still underway and would not be concluded by today. He added that he was not sure whether the case would be concluded before the Lunar New Year holidays.
"I am not discouraged or helpless. It's not that serious. I have been sticking to my schedule and doing the things I need to do," Ma said.
Taipei City Government Secretariat Director Lee Sush-der(李述德) said prosecutors questioned former Taipei mayoral office staffer Yu Wen (余文) -- who has admitted to submitting fraudulent receipts used in the accounting for Ma's special allowance fund -- on Monday and Wednesday. Lee added that prosecutors had also questioned staff at the secretariat and Ma's bodyguards several times recently.
Meanwhile, the KMT legislative caucus yesterday called on prosecutors to be thorough in their investigations.
"This case is not a simple matter because Ma had no criminal intent. There would be no justice if Ma were indicted," KMT Legislator Hsu Shao-ping (
KMT Secretary-General Wu Den-yih (
Wu was referring to Vice President Annette Lu (
Wu added that Ma would definitely step down from his position as chairman if indicted.
In related news, People First Party (PFP) Legislator Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) yesterday suggested that Ma should run in the 2008 presidential election on behalf of the KMT-PFP alliance, instead of the KMT, if he is indicted.
Wu said the KMT appreciated the PFP's gesture, but that the KMT hadn't yet decided what it would do if Ma were indicted.
DPP Deputy Secretary-General Tsai Huang-liang (
The Czech Republic’s Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution that supports a possible visit by the senate president to Taiwan. The resolution, initiated by Czech Senator Pavel Fischer, was passed with 50 votes in favor, one against and one abstention. The resolution blasts Beijing for having its Prague embassy send a letter to former Czech Senate president Jaroslav Kubera earlier this year threatening repercussions for Czech businesses if he visited Taiwan. The resolution shows the Senate’s support for a visit to Taiwan by Senate President Milos Vystrcil, accompanied by Czech business representatives, as the visit would be in the diplomatic long-term interests
The government and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday both spoke out against plans by the Chinese government to enact a national security law in Hong Kong. Chinese officials yesterday confirmed that the National People’s Congress would review a bill “on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.” The Presidential Office said that the announcement was evidence that the “one country, two systems” framework fundamentally clashes with democratic freedoms. The de-escalation of tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing relies on the Chinese government’s willingness to respond to Hong Kongers’ demands,
STRONGER DEFENSES: The announcement could be considered tacit US support for the nation’s indigenous arms manufacturing program, Joseph Wu told lawmakers Just hours after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inauguration on Wednesday, the US Department of State’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced in Washington the possible sale of 18 MK-48 Heavy Weight Torpedoes to Taiwan. Reacting to the announcement, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday told a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee that the ministry applauded the US move, which would help to uphold the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). The TRA states that the US should “provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character … to maintain the capacity of the US to resist any resort
NPP WARNING: The NPP’s chairman said that a security law proposed by Beijing means it has renounced its promise to maintain ‘one country, two systems’ in HK The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) yesterday proposed changing the law to provide protection for those seeking political asylum. China at the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Thursday introduced a draft security law for Hong Kong to ban treason, subversion and sedition, with a review expected next week. TPP caucus whip Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said that the party is concerned about democracy advocates in Hong Kong and has taken action to support them. The party has proposed an amendment to Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例), which stipulates that the government can offer