Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) Minister Christina Liu (劉憶如) yesterday apologized for confusing the date of a file on the formation of a biotech company allegedly involving Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).
However, Liu said she would not apologize “for forgery” as the DPP demanded because the accusation was not true, even though the DPP has warned it would sue Liu if she did not issue an official apology by noon today.
“So sue [me],” Liu said. “A straight shooter would not be afraid of being sued by anyone.”
The DPP demanded a formal apology from Liu and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) before noon today for accusing Tsai of wrongdoing in connection with Yu Chang Biologics Co (宇昌生技股份有限公司) while Tsai was the vice premier in 2007.
At a press conference yesterday morning, DPP officials showed two presentation documents which they said proved that Liu and the KMT had used inaccurate information to mislead the public on Monday. The DPP then demanded that Liu apologize before 3pm yesterday or else it would consider filing a lawsuit against her for document forgery and violating the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Act (總統副總統選舉罷免法).
At the Monday press conference, Liu and the KMT displayed a document that they said was distributed by the TaiMed Group (TMG), the predecessor of Yu Chang, at an investor conference on March 31, 2007, and said the presentation document listed Tsai as one of the four principal leaders of the start-up.
Liu had not issued an official statement of apology when the DPP held a second press conference, during which DPP spokesperson Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) demanded that Liu and KMT legislators Chiu Yi (邱毅), Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑) and Lin Yi-shih (林益世) formally apologize to Tsai before noon today.
“Liu must also explain why she cited a fabricated document to make an accusation and tell us who was behind the scenes orchestrating this plot,” Chen said, reiterating that the party had not ruled out filing a lawsuit against Liu, KMT officials and KMT legislators over the “smear campaign.”
At the morning press conference, Chen said Liu and the KMT might have committed forgery and may have violated Article 90 of the election act, which stipulates that anyone who spreads a rumor or false statement for the purpose of getting a candidate elected or impeding a person’s election chances could be sentenced to a fixed term of imprisonment of up to five years.
The document shown by Liu on Monday was actually a TaiMed Group presentation from Aug. 19, 2007, less than two weeks before the founding of Yu Chang on Sept. 5, Chen said, adding that Tsai’s name had been listed because she was a chairman-to-be after stepping down as vice premier in May.
That was why Tsai was listed as “Vice Premier of the ROC, 2006-2007” on the document, Chen said.
However, the KMT placed additional information on the document copies provided to the media that indicated it had come from the March investor conference, Chen said.
The presentation materials used in the March investor conference only listed the names of three scientists as TMG’s leaders, Chen said, adding that Tsai was not listed because she was still vice premier at the time.
DPP spokesperson Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄) slammed the KMT for launching a “smear campaign,” calling the effort “a trilogy of so-called whistle-blowing, intensive media scrutiny and judicial oppression.”