Wed, Mar 18, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Control Yuan to probe GIO over Kuo

‘COVER-UP’? Control Yuan member Chien Lin Whei-jun registered her intention to investigate the case involving a Web log with articles containing offensive remarks

By Shih Hsiu-chuan AND Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City Councilor Chien Yu-yen, center, and independent councilor Chen Chien-ming, left, visit the Control Yuan in Taipei yesterday to lodge accusations of treason and public intimidation against Kuo Kuan-ying, director of the information division at Taiwan’s representative office in Toronto, Canada.

PHOTO: WANG YI-SUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

The Control Yuan will launch an investigation into the Government Information Office’s (GIO) response to the scandal involving an official who allegedly wrote articles defaming Taiwan and Taiwanese, Control Yuan member Chien Lin Whei-jun (錢林慧君) said.

The GIO on Monday referred Kuo Kuan-ying (郭冠英), director of the information division at Taiwan’s representative office in Toronto, to the Judicial Yuan’s Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions of Functionaries for investigation.

The referral came after the GIO said it was dissatisfied with Kuo’s explanation. GIO Vice Minister George Hsu (?? said on Monday that there was a “substantial gap” between the evidence and Kuo’s answers concerning the articles published under the pen name “Fan Lan-chin” (范蘭欽).

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) accused Kuo last week of being Fan, whose Web log carries numerous articles containing offensive remarks. Kuo said he had only written one of the articles.

The articles refer to Taiwanese as taibazi (台巴子, “Taiwanese rednecks”) and wokou (倭寇, “Japanese pirates”). The articles say “the imposition of martial law [was] a benevolent act” and that “[China] should spend many years suppressing [people in Taiwan] instead of granting any political freedom once it has taken Taiwan by force.”

Kuo was summoned back to Taiwan to answer questions at the GIO in a meeting on Monday, where he denied that he was Fan.

Control Yuan member Huang Wu-tzu (黃武次) yesterday withdrew a request he filed on Monday to investigate, but Chien Lin disagreed.

The GIO’s referral of Kuo to the judiciary’s commission made clear that a Control Yuan investigation was needed, Control Yuan Secretary-General Chen Feng-yi (陳豐義) quoted Huang as saying.

Chien Lin yesterday registered her intention with the Control Yuan to investigate the case. Chen said the Control Yuan respected the authority of individual members.

“After Kuo explained himself to the GIO, the GIO failed to give the public a clear account of the matter. I want to find out whether the GIO tried to cover up for Kuo,” Chien Lin said.

The Control Yuan’s decision came after Taipei City councilors Chien Yu-yen (簡余晏) and Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘) visited the Control Yuan yesterday, demanding it look into the case.

The city councilors accused Kuo of violating Article 114 and Article 115 of the Criminal Code on treason and public intimidation and Article 5 of the Law on Discipline of Civil Servants (公務人員懲戒法) concerning dereliction of duty.

Later yesterday, GIO Minister Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) said the GIO had sent all the evidence the office had collected, as well as evidence from Kuan and other sources, to the commission.

Su dismissed criticism by DPP lawmakers that the GIO had shifted responsibility onto the commission, saying that the GIO’s handling of the matter was in accordance with the law.

“If it is proven that Kuo is Fan Lan-chin, Kuo will be severely punished. But right now, given the discrepancies between our understanding and Kuo’s explanation, we need the Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions of Functionaries to clarify the matter. We believe the commission will make a definitive decision,” Su said.

Legislators across party lines yesterday expressed dissatisfaction with the GIO’s handling of the matter.

At a press conference, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus deputy secretary-general Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said the GIO’s decision to move Kuo to a non-managerial position was “unacceptable.”

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