Wed, Aug 04, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Ma Ying-jeou to be queried in Control Yuan probe

INVESTIGATION Taipei's mayor will be questioned over allegations that a city official's election campaign advertisments appeared on a publicly funded billboard

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) will face questioning by the Control Yuan over a scandal involving former city government spokesman Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), who is suspected of accepting an advertiser's offer to run his legislative campaign advertisements on a city-funded electronic billboard.

Wu, who was nominated by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to run for a legislative seat in December, was accused by several Democratic Progressive Party city councilors last month of tacitly agreeing to allow an advertising agency to run campaign ads for him on a publicly funded electronic billboard located on the intersection of Zhongxiao East Road and Jilong Road.

The city's Department of Information paid NT$930,000 per year since 2001 to Ho-Feng Enterprises (鶴峰企業), the advertising agency that ran the billboard, to provide news about municipal activities and city government policies to the public.

After Wu released the news that he would contend for a legislative seat, the electronic billboard began showing Wu's campaign ads with a Department of Information title.

At that time, Wu was still serving as the city government spokesman and the director of the information department.

The Anti-Corruption Committee of the Control Yuan assigned investigative members Lee Shen-yi (李伸一) and Lin Shu-chi (林時機) to take charge of Wu's case on Monday.

This will be the first case that the Control Yuan has investigated under the Political Donations Law (政治獻金法) since the law was passed by the Legislative Yuan on March 18.

The law bans candidates from accepting any donations before they open a special account, which they must use for all political donations.

Control Yuan members will also investigate Ma to find out whether he failed to fulfill his responsibility of supervision, since the mayor gave Wu only a verbal warning at the time that the scandal broke.

Ma said yesterday that he will try to coordinate with the investigators, and said he will answer each question "according to the truth."

Ma added that he always took a respectful attitude towards investigations by the Control Yuan.

Wu said yesterday that he welcomed the investigation. because it was the best way for him to prove his innocence, saying that the advertising agency ran the campaign ads for him without notifying him and that he had nothing to do with corruption.

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