Sat, May 24, 2003 - Page 4 News List

No summons for Soong, prosecutors say

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei Chief Prosecutor Lin Bang-liang (林邦樑) yesterday said that prosecutors do not plan to summon PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) for clarification on the Chung Hsing Bills Finance scandal (興票案).

However, Lin admitted that a five-man task force, consisting of himself and prosecutors Meng Ling-shih (孟令士), Chu Ying-hsiang (朱應翔), Chen Chin-te (陳進德) and Wang Yi-jing (王怡菁), had a meeting to discuss this issue on May 12.

"Whether to summon any suspect or witness depends on the evidence we discover. However, up to this minute, we have not discovered any evidence which makes summons necessary," Lin said.

Lin's remarks were in response to a Chinese-language newspaper story yesterday which reported that the five-man task force has decided to summon Soong next month after the meeting on May 12.

Soong did not make any public comment regarding the story, but PFP Legislator Diane Lee (李慶安) said she believes he will cooperate with prosecutors. His innocence had already been decided when the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office announced its decision not to prosecute and closed the case on Jan. 20, 2001, she said.

"We respect the judicial system and prosecutors' authority. If they really summon Soong, I believe that he will adhere to the summons and cooperate with prosecutors. This is no big deal. However, we are also sorry if our political enemies take advantage of the case to attack Soong on purpose. It will be ugly," she said.

When the case was closed two years ago, the KMT's lawyer, Chuang Po-lin (莊柏林), immediately handed "new evidence" to the police. The prosecutors' office then decided to assign the five-man task force with starting a new investigation into the matter.

The scandal allegations first surfaced in December 1999 during the run-up to the presidential election campaign when then KMT legislator Yang Chi-hsiung (楊吉雄) accused Soong of being involved in irregular money transactions amounting to hundreds of millions of NT dollars.

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