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Sat, Feb 10, 2001 - Page 2 News List

Lee's `secret emissaries' fail to show up for hearing


Two former Taiwan officials who secretly contacted senior Beijing officials at the behest of former Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) failed to show up at a probe hearing yesterday.

Su Chih-cheng (蘇志誠), former personal secretary to Lee, and Cheng Su-ming (鄭淑敏), chairwoman of the China Television Company, did not appear at the prosecutors office of the Taiwan District Court to be questioned by a prosecutor on their roles as the former president's so-called "emissaries."

In a separate written motion to the prosecutors office, the two said they are tied to other business and could not attend yesterday's hearing.

The two were asked by Lee to contact representatives of Beijing leaders in Hong Kong and China secretly between 1988 and last year.

The secret contacts between the leaders of the two sides came to light in July, 2000, and the two negotiators were accused by a critic of Lee, New Party Legislator Elmer Feng (馮滬祥), of violating the National Security Law which prohibits public officials from visiting China.

In an unrelated development, Feng said at the Legislative Yuan that he will ask the prosecutors' office to probe Lee for what he called a "violation of the Public Officials Election and Recall Law."

Fung said that Lee instituted a judicial probe against former presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) over an alleged embezzlement in the lead up to the March 18 presidential election with the intent of preventing Soong from winning the race -- which, if proved, would be an offense under the Public Officials Election and Recall Law.

Since a prosecutor cleared Soong of any wrongdoing on Jan. 20, Feng said it was natural that Lee should bear the legal responsibility for wrongful accusation with political motives.

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