Wed, Oct 28, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Court orders ex-CEPD head to pay Tsai NT$2m

Staff writer, with CNA

Former head of the Council for Economic Planning and Development Christina Liu holds up a document in Taipei on Dec. 14, 2011.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

A former Cabinet member was yesterday ordered to compensate Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for making allegations against her during her 2012 presidential campaign.

Christina Liu (劉憶如), former head of the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD), was ordered to pay Tsai NT$2 million (US$61,207) in compensation in a ruling issued by the Taipei District Court.

The case can be appealed.

Liu and other Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) politicians attacked Tsai for her role in the government’s investment in biotechnology company TaiMed Biologics Inc (中裕新藥) in 2007, when Tsai served as the company’s chairperson.

The project was approved by the DPP administration while Tsai was vice premier in the first half of 2007. Tsai then stepped down from her post and became the company’s chairperson four months later, which the KMT said violated revolving-door laws.

As the company’s chairperson, Tsai had her family invest in TaiMed to bridge a cash shortfall, and the KMT alleged that Tsai and her family made an illicit gain of at least NT$10 million when they sold their stake not long afterward.

Prosecutors closed the case in August 2012 after no irregularities were found.

Tsai then filed a civil suit to seek NT$5 million in compensation from Liu for defamation.

The DPP yesterday held a news conference in response to the ruling, demanding President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) offer a public apology to the nation’s biotechnology industry for having caused harm to it as a result of the KMT’s attack against TaiMed.

Tsai said she hopes people learn one thing from the incident: Let elections be elections, and let political competition be political competition.

She said that when she was in government, she made some efforts to promote the development of the nation’s biotechnology industry, but those efforts became the subject of political struggle.

The incident was not only a huge setback for the development of the biotechnology industry, but also caused many professionals to lose confidence in the nation, she said.

She said she hopes that, when making major policies in the future, people would put aside political ambitions and prioritize professionalism.

Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, but, by mutual consent, that part of the trial has been put off until after the Jan. 16 presidential election.

In response to the DPP’s call for an apology, the Presidential Office said the TaiMed case was a matter of political integrity and that “someone should clarify whether there had been an issue of failing to avoid conflicts of interest.”

Additional reporting by Su Fang-he

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