The Ministry of Foreign Affairs' improper handling of the controversial passport authorization involving fugitive murder suspect Andrew Wang (
Following the latest incident, which was disclosed by the foreign ministry late Friday, Tien Hung-mao (
Former foreign minister Eugene Chien's (
Premier Yu Shyi-kun indignantly ordered Tien and other people involved in the incident to return home and offer thorough explanations of the matter. He also requested disciplinary measures be meted out to those accountable for the incident.
Although Yu yesterday told reporters in Taichung County that he didn't expect to reach a final decision on the matter until he hears Tien's side of the story, it is widely believed that the premier might not find him culpable in the error.
Tien was the foreign minister when the representative office in Geneva issued a notarization of power of attorney to Wang in July 2001. He was the representative to the UK and Chien was the foreign minister when the representative office in London issued another notarization of power of attorney to Wang in February of last year.
The paper was to notarize the appointment of a lawyer to act on Wang's behalf when the court in Taiwan handles a libel lawsuit he filed against national policy adviser Hsieh Tsung-min (
The government, however, believed that Wang used the documents to try to unfreeze money being held in Swiss banks.
Following the two incidents, the Control Yuan ordered corrective measures against the foreign ministry in March last year over the improper handling of the matter.
While Chien, who denied any friendship with Wang, and Tien were both absolved of responsibility in the incident, the official in the UK office who issued the documents to Wang, Chang Jia-hua (
In a bid to prevent the same mistake from happening again, the government later prepared a list of Wang's family members and sent it to the UK representative office.
On March 16 this year, Wang's wife, Yeh Hsiu-chen (葉秀貞), applied for a new passport, claiming that she had lost her passport. The representative office in the UK issued Yeh a new passport the next day.
On May 27, the representative office issued Yeh six authorization papers allowing real estate trans-fers. While two of Yeh's real estate sales had already been completed, the other four deals were successfully blocked.
Displeased with the repeated mistakes and fearing that there might be a conspiracy involved, the Control Yuan pledged to investigate the matter.
Speculation abounds that Chang might have been instructed by someone higher up to contravene official policy on purpose, considering that Yeh picked two highly sensitive times to file the applications to dodge administrative scrutiny and media attention.
It was close to the presidential election when Yeh applied for her new passport on March 16. Yeh received six real estate authorization documents one week after the presidential inauguration.
Wang, a former arms dealer, has been wanted since September 2000 in connection with the death of Navy Captain Yin Ching-feng (
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