Wed, Oct 01, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Kaohsiung County chief files libel suit against KMT's Tsai

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Kaohsiung County Commissioner Yang Chiu-hsin (楊秋興) filed a libel suit yesterday against Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spokesman Alex Tsai (蔡正元) over remarks that Tsai made regarding efforts by the county to arrange a tour by a Japanese baseball team.

"I've decided to file a lawsuit against Tsai, whose remarks had injured the county government's reputation and image," Yang said at a press conference, accompanied by his lawyer.

Tsai told reporters last Wed-nesday that the county government had planned to invite the Japanese professional baseball team, the Daiei Hawks, to play. Tsai said the plan fell through because a certain member of the county government was demanding a commission for the invitation.

Last Thursday, the Kaohsiung County Government held a press conference to deny Tsai's allegations. Officials said the plan had fallen through because the county government could not meet the fee demanded by the Japanese team.

At that press conference Yang said that since he was the one in overall charge of dealing with the Daiei Hawks, Tsai's remark was obviously aimed at him.

Yang, a member of the Democratic Progressive Party, then demanded the KMT issue a public apology within three days.

That same day the "pan-blue" alliance announced that it had invited the team to play friendly games against Taiwanese players in November.

According to the Amateur Baseball Association, the Daiei Hawks' visit would cost the alliance NT$40 million.

"Today is the sixth day [since last week's press conference], yet we have not received any apology from the KMT," Yang said. "We decided to resort to legal action, hoping that justice will restore the county government's name and prove its innocence."

Tsai told reporters yesterday that he respected Yang's right to file lawsuits.

"I never specifically named Yang as receiving a commission over this case," Tsai said. "The whole thing was merely a rumor and there's no way to verify it."

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