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Thu, Jan 03, 2002 - Page 2 News List

Tsai gets summons in VCD case

INVESTIGATION Former Hsinchu mayor Tsai Jen-chien has been called to the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office as a potential witness in the Chu Mei-feng sex-VCD scandal

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former Hsinchu mayor Tsai Jen-chien (蔡仁堅), erstwhile boyfriend of the one-time Hsinchu City Bureau of Cultural Affairs chief Chu Mei-feng (璩美鳳), was yesterday issued with a summons to go to the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office.

Meanwhile, in the Legislative Yuan yesterday, Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) vehemently asserted his innocence on charges made by some lawmakers that he, because he is a friend of Tsai's, may have interfered in the investigation into the secret filming of a sex VCD.

The summons requires that Tsai report to prosecutors as a potential witness in that investigation.

"The reason why we are summoning him as a `potential witness' instead of as a `witness' is that other than Kuo Yu-ling (郭玉鈴), nobody has been listed as a suspect yet," said Chen Hung-ta (陳宏達), spokesman for the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office.

Kuo, a "spiritual growth" instructor at a religious-healing center called Avatar, has admitted to prosecutors that she installed the equipment that made the VCD possible, but said that she acted on the orders of somebody else whom she has refused to name.

Chen said the task force's current focus is on identifying the primary culprit in the case and to establish the whereabouts of the original tape. Investigators have obtained Kuo's telephone records and notebooks and found the name and telephone number of Tsai among them.

"On the basis of what we have established," Chen said, "prosecutors believe there is more than a good chance that there might be more than one original tape and that the main culprit still possesses them. Tsai might know this person or be able to provide more clues to help us figure out who it is.

"But don't get me wrong," he continued. "Tsai's summons does not mean that he will be treated as a witness or suspect. Prosecutors need him to clear up certain questions to which, obviously, current evidence suggests he could be key."

He said that the summons would notify Tsai to attend the prosecutors' office at an appointed time, which he was not at liberty to divulge, before this week comes to an end.

Meanwhile, answering questions at the Judicial Committee of the Legislative Yuan yesterday morning, Minister Chen said that in the investigation of cases prosecutors are no longer influenced by politics.

"Unconfirmed information and rumors, on the other hand, can affect an investigation," he said.

"Many people have suspected me of interfering due to my friendship with Tsai," Chen said. "Actually, that was a malicious rumor and the truth is that I have never been involved in the investigation. That is our prosecutors' job and, at the moment, I think they're doing quite well."

Continuing to state his innocence, he said, "Moreover, this is just an ordinary criminal case. I don't believe that any politician would interfere in a case like this."

"What makes you believe that any government official would speak for a former city mayor and get involved in a case like this?" he said.

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