Sun, Mar 09, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Determined lawyer doesn't want to let Soong off the hook

STAFF WRITER

After prosecutors decided not to indict PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) for his involvement in the 1991 Chung Hsing Bills Finance case, lawyer Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said that anyone can report to prosecutors on the case if any new evidence is found, Chinese-language media reported yesterday.

Hsu pointed out that the financial scandal is a case of public prosecution in nature. Therefore, it's an offense which does not require a complaint to be filed before it can be prosecuted.

"Anyone who has new evidence on [Soong's] criminal acts in the case can report to prosecutors," the lawmaker said.

Hsu has also filed a complaint to the Control Yuan against prosecutor Hung Tai-wen (洪泰文) -- who accepted Soong's explanation that he was using the money to carry out tasks ordered by then KMT Chairman Lee Teng-hui (李登輝).

Hsu has accused the prosecutor of ignoring key evidence passing over critical witnesses.

The scandal came into the spotlight again after President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said on Wednesday that the case was still open.

In response to Chen's comments, PFP spokesman Hsieh Kong-ping (謝公秉) accused Chen of trying to manipulate the judicial system in order to attack Soong. Hsieh also accused Chen of trying to divert the public's attention from the government's poor performance on the investigation of the Lafayette scandal.

The Lafayette scandal centers around Taiwan's efforts to purchase navy frigates from France in 1991. It has been revealed that Paris paid huge kickbacks to Taiwan and China in order to secure the deal.

On Thursday, some DPP legislators accused both Soong and Lee of involvement in the case.

However, the DPP legislative caucus later dropped Lee's name from their list of accused. It also apologized to the TSU for naming Lee, the party's spiritual leader, after some TSU lawmakers threatened to end their partnership with the DPP.

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