Tue, Jul 22, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Chen kicked by protester at hearing

TAKE THAT Former president Chen Shui-bian was on his way to defend himself in a lawsuit, but first had to defend himself against a member of a pro-unification group

By Rich Chang and Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Police deliver Su An-sheng, a member of the Patriot Association, to Taipei’s Zhongzheng First Precinct Police Station after he was arrested yesterday for kicking former president Chen Shui-bian.


Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was kicked as he entered the Taipei District Court yesterday to defend himself in a defamation lawsuit filed by personnel connected to the purchase of Lafayette frigates in 1990.

Lee Chin-tien (李金田), director of the Taipei City Police Department’s Zhongzheng First Precinct, said that as Chen entered the district court with security guards at 9:45am, a 65-year-old man named Su An-sheng (蘇安生) managed to get close enough to kick Chen in the hip.

Su was held by security guards and police officers arrested him and took him to a police station for questioning, Lee said.

The officer said that Su is a member of the pro-unification Patriot Association (愛國同心會).

He added that Su would be charged with causing bodily harm if Chen filed a lawsuit against him.

In the meantime, the Taipei District Court has detained Su for three days for violating the Social Order and Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法). Su can appeal the decision.

After the hearing, Chen went to the National Taiwan University Hospital, which said he may have suffered a fractured tailbone.

Chen’s appearance at the court marked the first time that a former president has been subpoenaed as a defendant in a criminal case.

Retired vice admiral and former chief of the Navy’s Shipbuilding Office Lei Hsueh-ming (雷學明), retired rear admiral Wang Chin-sheng (王琴生) and three others filed the suit against Chen, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator William Lai (賴清德) and former DPP legislator Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) for allegedly claiming that Lei and the others accepted kickbacks in connection with the purchase of Lafayette-class frigates.

“The kickback scandal involving Lei Hsueh-ming and other generals has been pending in court and has been under prosecutorial investigation, and legal officials have not made a clear case for the nation. This scandal is so big, but the people related to the case said there is no scandal at all. Can you believe it?” Chen said before leaving the court.

Chen said it was ridiculous that the scandal had not been cleared up even as he and two DPP legislators were facing new legal action.

Lei yesterday told the judges that he did not take any money during the frigate procurement process and that Chen and the DPP lawmakers’ accusations were groundless.

Chen told the court he had simply questioned the flow of money and never alleged Lei or others had taken cash.

Chen said at a public function in December 2005 that Lei and several Naval officials had produced false performance data on Lafayette frigates and inflated the price of the vessels to manipulate the Navy’s 1990 purchase of frigates from France instead of from South Korea as planned.

Chen said that after 1990, a sum of US$20 million was discovered in a bank account held by Lei, and that this was proof of graft.

Lei then filed a suit against him.

Taipei prosecutors said the plan in 1988 had been to purchase frigates made in South Korea. The Republic of China Navy, however, in 1990 instead chose to purchase French-made Lafayette frigates, following a trip to France in 1989 by several military officials led by Lei.

A prosecutorial panel in 2001 indicted Lei and five other military officials for graft, accusing them of issuing false performance data for the frigates and inflating the price.

Both former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and former chief of general staff Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村) were summoned as witnesses in a related trial in May after Lei told prosecutors that he had received instructions from his “superior” to purchase the French frigates, but did not state clearly whether it was the former president or Hau who gave the directive.

This story has been viewed 6711 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top