Wed, Nov 05, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Soong again challenges Lee to a confrontation

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) yesterday issued an official statement regarding the Chung Hsing Bills Finance scandal (興票案) to Taipei prosecutors and again challenged former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) again to a confrontation in court.

"I have clearly explained the entire case in the statement to prosecutors. If they have to summon me, I will be more than happy to provide my help as well," Soong said.

By yesterday night prosecutors had not summoned Soong or asked him to submit any statement regarding their investigation of the scandal.

Soong made his remarks at the Chiang Kai-shek International Airport after he saw Chinese Nationalist Party Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) off to the funeral service for former first lady Soong Mayling (蔣宋美齡) in New York.

In the meantime, Soong also complained that, according to the law, prosecutors are supposed to reopen their investigation of a case within seven days after the case is closed, if necessary, but prosecutors have not done this.

"The case was announced closed on Jan. 20, 2001. Today is Nov. 4, 2003. It has been more than 700 days, not seven days," he said.

Prosecutors regard the current investigation as a new case, rather than a reopening of the case which had been closed two years ago.

Meanwhile, while Lee allegedly accused Soong of opening two secret bank accounts without autho-rization and embezzling NT$360.88 million, which was supposed to be donations to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), Soong challenged Lee to a confrontation to defend his own innocence during an interrogation session by prosecutors on Oct. 22.

"Lee was the KMT's chairman and I was the secretary then. He and I share the key to many secrets, so a discussion between us will be the best way to restore the facts," Soong said.

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