Sun, Jul 25, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Legislators voice outrage over gaffe by MOFA officials

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Legislators across the political spectrum said they were "outraged" by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' (MOFA) negligence regarding the case of the fugitive murder suspect Andrew Wang (汪傳浦).

The ministry admitted late Friday that its representative office in London had issued legal documents and a passport to Wang's wife, Yeh Hsiu-chen (葉秀貞) in March, which later allowed Yeh to authorize a third party to sell her real estate in Taiwan.

The same official who processed Yeh's application also illegally processed an application for other legal documents last year.

"I am outraged at hearing the news," Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Bill Sun (孫國華) said. "This is the second time the official made the same mistake."

Sun is a member of the legislature's Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee.

"The first time this happened, the committee passed a resolution demanding the foreign ministry cooperate with the Ministry of Justice on the cases of overseas fugitives because, after all, arresting fugitives is not within MOFA's power," Sun said.

Sun said that Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) promised the legislators that if the MOFA's overseas representative offices encountered fugitives who asked for help in the future, the MOJ could send specialists to the representative offices within 48 hours of requests being made.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus voiced similar responses to the incident.

"We are very angry upon hearing the news. We demand MOFA form a task force to handle this case and investigate everything possible to nail down and penalize everyone responsible for the error," DPP caucus whip Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said.

"But before a conclusion is made, we believe that MOFA should continue to carry out its tasks as usual," Tsai said.

Other officials have called for the resignations of representative to Britain Tien Hung-mao (田弘茂) and and newly appointed representative to the EU Eugene Chien (簡又新), a former foreign minister.

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) voiced temporary clemency for the officials as well.

"Resignations now would not help at all. It is more important for the government to review its administration and conduct a comprehensive investigation of the case," TSU caucus whip Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘) said.

Joining the chorus of outrage, People First Party caucus whip Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) demanded the government conduct a continuous investigation until it found out every detail.

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