Seventy members of Academia Sinica, the nation’s top academic institute, yesterday issued a joint statement denouncing the Control Yuan’s impeachment of former Academia Sinica president Wong Chi-huey (翁啟惠).
Wong in January was indicted by the Shilin District Court on corruption charges relating to biotech company OBI Pharma Inc (台灣浩鼎).
While the trial continues, the Control Yuan on Tuesday impeached Wong, saying that he engaged in profiteering and other financial crimes linked to the OBI Pharma scandal.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
It forwarded the case to the Judicial Yuan’s Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission to decide what punishment Wong would face.
The statement said the Control Yuan was being abusive and made an unsound judgement, citing Wong’s stature as a top scientist with international honors and his contributions to the institution during his tenure.
“We hope Wong’s involvement in the OBI Pharma case will be judged fairly. However, the judicial authorities did not abide by the fundamental principles of secrecy of investigation and presumption of innocence. As a result, the media produced many misleading reports, which greatly damaged Wong’s reputation,” the statement said.
“Despite Wong’s case still being in the court, the Control Yuan adopted the prosecutors’ partial accusations and hurried to finalize his impeachment without ever giving him the opportunity to defend himself,” it said.
“We express our serious concerns about the undue procedure,” it said. “Also, we strongly condemn the Control Yuan’s unsound and abusive judgement on the highest academic institution’s former president. We call on the judicial authorities to follow procedural justice and conduct just trials.”
“Why have the authorities embarrassed him like this?” academic Lee Kuo-hsiung (李國雄) asked.
Wong transferred patent techniques to OBI Pharma when there was no review procedure, Lee said, adding that Wong helped set up Academia Sinica’s review procedure during his tenure.
Despite the procedure, Wong’s patent transfer was called illegal, which might affect investment in the biotech industry, Lee said.
Academic Wang Fan-sen (王汎森) said that the Control Yuan should not have made a rash judgement before the trial is complete.
Wong is a prominent biochemist who has worked in the US and had been touted as a potential winner of a Nobel prize for his research.
Appointed Academia Sinica president in October 2007, Wong began working on new cancer vaccine technologies and collaborated on research projects with OBI Pharma chairman Michael Chang (張念慈), a friend from the time he was at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Wong tendered his resignation in March last year, which was approved by the Presidential Office two months later.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
RECEIVING TREATMENT: President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang visited former president Lee Teng-hui yesterday morning Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday rebutted speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had died a day earlier, saying that he was weak, but receiving treatment. The hospital said the 97-year-old Lee was not in good condition and needed ongoing care, adding that if there are any changes in his condition, it would make those public. The comments came after rumors emerged online on Tuesday that Lee had died after being hospitalized since early February. Soon after the unsubstantiated rumors emerged, reporters started flocking to the hospital seeking confirmation. Lee was admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Feb. 8 after choking while drinking
ROAD TO HISTORY: When Lee Teng-hui joined the KMT, the likelihood of a Taiwanese becoming ROC president, much less its first directly elected one, was hard to imagine Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was born on Jan. 15, 1923, in the farming community of Sanshi Village, Taihoku Prefecture — now New Taipei City’s Sanzhi District (三芝) — during the Japanese colonial era, and rose to become mayor of Taipei and not only the Republic of China’s (ROC) first Taiwan-born president, but its first directly elected one as well. Educated in the Japanese educational system of the time, Lee, who spoke Japanese, Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Mandarin and English, won a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. He earned a bachelor’s