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Tue, Jan 18, 2000 - Page 3 News List

New evidence emerges in Soong financial scandal

STAFF WRITER

The continuing investigation into independent presidential candidate James Soong's (宋楚瑜) finances took another step forward yesterday -- with some new twists.

The Control Yuan's special task force investigating the case began checking into the account information it had collected on the case yesterday.

The task force needs at least two or three more days to finish its work and may summon Soong for further questioning over details about accounts held by several relatives, Ma Yi-kung (馬以工), the task force's spokesperson said.

Investigators are looking into possible breach of trust, misappropriation, fraud, tax evasion, and money laundering, according to sources.

Meanwhile, Huang Hwei-chen (黃輝珍), head of the KMT's Department of Cultural Affairs, said the KMT would not accept a private settlement with Soong.

Soong's earlier statement that he intended to return NT$240 million to KMT chairman Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) indicates that Soong had no intention of admitting any misdeeds, Huang said.

Huang also asked Soong to hand over the money to pros-ecutors. Since the money belongs to the KMT and not Lee, the party would not accept a private settlement with Soong, but would take the case to court, Huang said.

Meanwhile, investigators said they found another mysterious NT$35 million that went out from the account of one's Soong's associates in 1998, sources said.

The sources quoted investigators as saying that Soong's financial advisor Chen Pi-yun (陳碧雲) withdrew NT$35 million from her account -- one of the key accounts in the scandal -- and placed it into an account of Yang Yun-tai (楊雲黛), a former executive secretary to Soong, on Dec. 17, 1998, just before Soong stepped down as provincial governor.

Over the next two days, the money flowed out from Yang's account in seven installments, investigators said, according to sources.

Chen did not include the funds in previous explanations of her account.

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