Wed, Jul 04, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Ma office files suit over `professional student' allegation

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) office filed a defamation lawsuit yesterday against Cabinet Spokesman Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) implying Ma served as a "professional student" for the party when he was at Harvard University.

In Taiwan, the term "professional student" usually refers to those who studied abroad on KMT scholarships and worked as campus spies for the party, reporting on pro-independence Taiwanese students.

Shieh made the accusations on Monday at an event marking the 26th anniversary of the death of Chen Wen-chen (陳文成), a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who was found dead at National Taiwan University after being questioned by Taiwan Garrison Command officers in 1981.

Shieh said that Chen and other Taiwanese studying abroad had been put on the KMT's blacklist because they criticized the party.

The KMT's student spies should be held responsible for any deaths of those they reported on, Shieh said.

Ma should explain whether he had monitored the activities of Taiwanese students and collected information for the party while he studied law at Harvard from 1974 to 1981, Shieh said.

Ma spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) filed the lawsui and urged Shieh to provide solid evidence to back his claims.

"Please show us solid proof when making accusations rather than spreading rumors," Lo said at the Taipei Prosecutors Office.

Shieh's remarks were part of a smear campaign by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Lo said.

However, Ma's integrity and efforts to fight for Taiwan's economy would not be affected by DPP's accusations, Lo said.

"We will sue every single person who spreads rumors and smears Ma's reputation," he said.

Ma has previously been accused of working as a student spy by several pro-independence activists and DPP members, including Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) and DPP Legislator Winston Dang (陳重信).

Lu made similar accusations in 1998 during the Taipei mayoral election, alleging that Ma had served as the editor-in-chief of Boston Periodical, a student publication organized by the KMT.

Ma used that position to write articles opposing Taiwan's independence and reported on the activities of pro-independence students to the KMT, Lu said at the time.

Chen and other DPP members accused Ma of taking pictures at a pro-independence rally in Boston in 1978 initiated by Lu and other Taiwanese students.

Ma has always denied the accusations and urged the DPP to provide solid proof.

"He [Ma] was a typical `professional student.' It is not difficult for you to find out whether I am telling the truth or not," Shieh said.

Quoting an article in Biographical Literature magazine published in June last year, Shieh said that when Ma was doing his internship in New York in March 1981, he wrote an 84-page article about "terrorism and pro-Taiwan independence" in English for the government to use as propaganda against pro-independence activists in the US.

The article, titled "Ma Ho-ling, Ma Ying-jeou, the father and son, and the Revolution and Practice Institute of the KMT," was written by Roger Hsi (習賢德), an associate professor at the Graduate School of Mass Communication at Fu Jen Catholic University.

Ma Ho-ling (馬鶴凌) is Ma Ying-jeou's late father.

The Revolution and Practice Institute was renamed the National Development Institute in 2000.

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