Independent Taipei mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday accused his Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) rival, Sean Lien (連勝文), of creating Taiwan’s version of “Watergate” after a magazine published transcripts of voice recordings of one of his private staff meetings.
“What has happened is very close to the Watergate scandal. No one should try to scare my colleagues at the National Taiwan University Hospital through eavesdropping,” Ko said. “The rival camp should stop this kind of dirty campaigning.”
He said he is the one running for mayor, “so please stop insulting my former colleagues at the hospital, because they are all professional and hard-working people. They don’t deserve to be harmed like this.”
However, Ko said that he would not speculate whether it was someone on Lien’s campaign team who leaked the recordings, adding that he would help his hospital colleagues to take legal action.
Ko made the remarks when asked to comment on the transcript published in yesterday’s edition of the Chinese-language Next Magazine.
According to the magazine, Ko’s campaign staff had a meeting with key members of his surgical intensive care unit team, Tsai Pi-ju (蔡璧如) and Liu Yi-ju (劉意如), prior to a press conference last week during which he released his personal bank statements and two hospital bank accounts connected to him. During the meeting, they discussed how to respond to possible questions from the media or from prosecutors if the judiciary decides to launch a probe into corruption allegations made by KMT Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾).
The magazine report also quoted Tsai as saying in the meeting that Ko had said he would “kill Wu Yi-hui [吳毅輝]” — referring to a former member of his surgical intensive care unit team now working as a member of Lien’s campaign.
Lien did not comment on Ko’s remarks, except to say that he felt horrified to learn that Ko said he would kill Wu.
“We’re running for mayor of Taipei, not to be Islamist bombers. I hope this will not happen again,” Lien said. “Ko should reflect whether he has violated the laws and regulations of the country or of a public institution, instead of venting his anger on an innocent person — it’s horrifying that he [Wu] should be killed just because he’s my friend.”