Wed, Jul 07, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Committee to investigate shooting moves forward

By Debby Wuand Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Creating a special committee for which the law has no provision in order to invesigate the assassination attempt on the president is not a possibility, officials said yesterday.

A special committee to monitor the investigation -- proposed by the president -- must be an independent and impartial organization established within an existing administrative framework, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and Control Yuan President Fredrick Chien (錢復) said yesterday.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday invited the heads of the five Yuans to the Presidential Office to discuss the feasibility of forming an independent investigative committee.

After the meeting, Wang said the committee must be established with a legal basis and operate independently and impartially. It should consist of both legislators and Control Yuan officials, he said.

"As long as we pass the special statute for the March 19 shooting incident investigation committee, then the committee's existence won't be illegal," Wang said.

The statute, proposed by the pan-blue camp, is meant to allow the Control Yuan president to head a special investigation committee with input from the legislature, but Wang said the legislature's proposal and the president's proposal should become one, since the two proposals are similar.

"President Chen respects the legislature and he said he wanted only one committee, established on a legal basis and within the existing administrative framework, as it is not necessary to have two independent committees," Wang said.

Chien, who would head the committee proposed by the president, also said the committee would be established within an "existing administrative framework," although it should operate independently and without interference from any government agency.

Chien then said that the committee should have a legal basis, but he also said he would conduct preparatory work, such as gathering public opinions and theories about the incident, based on the six principles reached in the meeting, before the legislature passes the statute.

This will allow the committee to answer the public's questions and dispel some of the confusion surrounding the incident.

"The most important mission of the committee is to discover the facts of the March 19 shooting incident, and to draft up a report and publish it for public understanding," Chien said.

Chien said that he hoped the committee could finish its report before he retired from his post on Jan. 31 next year, but he remained conservative about the probability of the committee discovering the identity of the would-be assassin, since the crime scene and evidence had been damaged too seriously for a smooth investigation.

Chien also released an e-mail address, 319invest@ms.cy.gov.tw, and two fax numbers (02) 2391-7603 and (02) 2394-2814, for the public to use to submit their questions or any clues about the shooting incident.

Meanwhile, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who is also the vice chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), yesterday stressed that an investigation committee established in the Legislative Yuan is still an imperative.

"I am in favor of President Chen's decision, which shows that he cares about the issue," Ma said yesterday after the weekly municipal meeting. "But the investigation committee that President Chen ordered is quite different from the one that KMT-PFP alliance has advocated."

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