Sat, May 24, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Chen to file suit against defense minister: Hsu

'Untrue' Hsu Kuo-yung said he would file the suit on behalf of the former president on Monday, claiming the minister had damaged his reputation

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) will sue Minister of National Defense Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏) after he implied that the assassination attempt on the eve of the 2004 presidential election was staged, a former lawmaker said yesterday.

“I was entrusted by former president Chen and will file the lawsuit with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on Monday at the earliest opportunity,” former Democratic Progressive Party legislator Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇), who is also an attorney, said yesterday.

Wounds

During his first briefing to the legislature’s Diplomacy and National Defense Committee on Monday, Chen Chao-min said that the wounds on former president Chen Shui-bian’s stomach were not caused by the shooting on Chinhua Street, Tainan City.

Chen Shui-bian was quoted by Hsu as saying that he had decided to take legal action because what the new defense minister had said was “untrue” and had “damaged his reputation.”

Hsu said Chen Shui-bian’s office talked to him about the matter on Thursday.

Chen Chao-min said on Monday that his remarks were based on the investigation conducted by the 319 Shooting Truth Investigation Special Committee, of which he was a member.

Pan-blue lawmakers set up the committee in 2004 by pushing a statute through the legislature that they dominated to look into the incident, while the pan-green camp boycotted the committee.

The shooting happened when Chen Shui-bian and former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) were campaigning in a jeep in Tainan City. The incident left both Chen Shui-bian and Lu slightly injured.

Narrow win

The pan-blue camp believes that the shooting was the main reason behind Chen and Lu’s narrow victory in the election because it generated sympathy votes.

The official investigation was closed in August 2005 with the report saying that Chen Yi-hsiung (陳義雄), who was found dead 10 days after the incident, was the gunman.

Chu Chao-liang (朱朝亮), a former head of Tainan District Prosecutors’ Office, said in a Central News Agency report yesterday that he and other prosecutors who participated in the official investigation would appear in the court as prosecution witnesses.

Chu said they could give evidence to prove that the shooting took place on Chinhua Street.

‘Unfit’

Meanwhile, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus yesterday said that Chen Chao-min was “unfit” to be a minister following his comments.

“Chen Shui-bian should file a suit against Chen Chao-min because what the minister said was totally untrue,” DPP legislative caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said. “If a national defense minister does not know there is a military airport in Taoyuan, how can one expect him to remember anything of the 319 case?”

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JIMMY CHUANG

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