Executive Yuan Spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) yesterday rebutted a report that Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) has criminal connections, but confirmed that Wu took a trip with a group that included a paroled former gangster.
“It is true that the premier went to Bali [in Indonesia] with a number of people who care about the development of [Nantou County] during his legislative term last year,” Su said at the Executive Yuan.
“Members of the group might have included an ex-offender who has been rehabilitated, as alleged by the media, but there is no need for people to overinterpret [this],” Su said.
Su was responding to a story published in the issue of the Chinese-language Next Magazine that hit shelves yesterday. The story claims that Wu, his wife Tsai Ling-yi (蔡令怡), Nantou County Commissioner Lee Chao-ching (李朝卿) and Chiang Chin-liang (江欽良) — a former gangster on parole — visited the Indonesian island of Bali on Dec. 18 last year.
The story said Chiang was a powerful gangster in central Taiwan who has been involved in several cases of extortion and shootings.
“As a person with more than 30 years of experience in politics, how [Wu] handles his relationship [with Chiang] could withstand any measure of public scrutiny,” Su said.
Wu said yesterday that Chiang had repented and dedicated himself to charity work over the past decade, urging the public not to ostracize him.