Sun, Dec 01, 2002 - Page 2 News List

Hsieh denies scandal allegations

QUESTIONABLE SIGNATUREThe KMT says the Kaohsiung mayor accepted a check for NT$4.5 million from Zanadau shareholder Su Hui-chen - a charge Hsieh denies

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Kaohsiung City Mayor Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) went on the offensive yesterday, after the KMT legislative caucus accused him of involvement in the Zanadau Development Corp (新瑞都) scandal.

The KMT caucus had said earlier yesterday that the DPP heavyweight's signature appeared as that of the payee on a check made out for NT$4.5 million from Zanadau majority shareholder Su Hui-chen (蘇惠珍) in 1994.

Kaohsiung City Government spokeswoman Qen Pei-ling (管碧玲) told the Taipei Times that the payee's signature on the check appears to be Hsieh's.

"It appears to be his signature. We will have to investigate this payment but we can't do anything until Monday," Qen said.

Hsieh told journalists yesterday afternoon that he did not know Su and had had nothing to do with Zanadau.

"Zanadau Development Corp is a party-run company. Its management are all KMT members. How could I possibly have been involved in a case that has nothing to do with the DPP?" he asked. "As for the signature, I believe that prosecutors will be able to find out whether it's really mine."

Hsieh did not elaborate or take any questions after making the statement.

KMT legislative whip Lee Chuan-chiao (李全教) made the allegations at a press conference yesterday morning.

"Look at this check. Hsieh's name is on it. He was involved in the scandal because this check is from Su Hui-chen," he said, holding up what he said was a copy of the check dated Nov. 25, 1994.

Lee said the check had been obtained from an anonymous source but that Hsieh's signature had "been confirmed" before the decision was made to hold the press conference.

"While China Development Holding Corp Chairman Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英) is under investigation by prosecutors, I think they should do the same thing to Hsieh as well," Lee said.

Su has accused Liu of accepting a kickback of NT$1.06 billion in 1999 in return for his promise to help her secure financing from banks, a promise which she said he did not honor.

The date of the KMT's allegation raises questions, however. Hsieh was a DPP lawmaker in 1994. The Zanadau Development Corp was not established until May 1998 and the alleged offenses being investigated by prosecutors took place in 1998 and 1999.

Asked to explain how a transaction performed in 1994 could relate to a scandal involving a company that didn't exist until 1998, Lee said, "Go ask Hsieh. He will tell you what was going on.

"Prosecutors should know more than me about this," Lee said when asked whether he had informed prosecutors of his allegation.

"If Hsieh or the Ministry of Justice doesn't respond to my accusation, I can assure you that there will be more press conferences with details of my accusations in the near future," he added.

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