Wed, Jan 19, 2005 - Page 3 News List

CIB laughs off report by committee

A QUESTION OF MOTIVE The Criminal Investigation Bureau said it did not need to respond to the `319' committee's report, as the science speaks for itself

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

DPP legislative whip Tsai Huang-liang, center, reasons with KMT caucus whip Huang Teh-fu, right, and Tseng Yung-chuan, left, executive director of the KMT's policy committee, yesterday. The pan-blue camp used its legislative majority to yet again reject the arms procurement budget in the procedure committee, while placing the 319 Shooting Truth Investigation Special Committee's report on the agenda.

PHOTO: CNA

The Criminal Investigation Bureau said that it respects the opinion of the March 19 Shooting Truth Investigation Special Committee, but that it has no intention of responding to the allegations of the controversial committee, whose legal status is in doubt. Meanwhile, legal experts said that the report "will not make any difference."

The committee, comprised of pan-blue figures, claims that the election-eve shooting was staged based on allegations about the bullets recovered by police.

According to the report, which was made public on Monday, committee members said that they have "good reason" to believe that President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) stomach wound was not caused by the lead bullet which the police recovered.

The committee said that its study showed that the lead bullet was "not capable" of creating Chen's stomach wound. As a result of this "evidence," the committee said it was clear that the March 19 assassination attempt was a "crime staged for election purposes."

This assertion directly contradicts the results of the forensic tests conducted by the bureau and by the forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee (李昌鈺), who was invited to investigate the case at the urging of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

"All the evidence was screened and analyzed by our bureau's forensic scientists, as well as [independent investigator] Dr. Henry Lee," said Judy Cheng (程曉桂), head of the bureau's Forensic Identification Division.

"The results of our study and Lee's arrived at the same conclusions. That is our burden of proof," she said.

"What we did was scientific and is indisputable. As far as what the committee said ... we will respect it, but will not respond to it at all. The most important task for us now is to find the gunman," she added.

Lawyer Yang Szu-chin (楊思勤) said that the committee's report will not make any difference in the case.

"The Council of Grand Justices has already announced that portions of the March 19 Shooting Truth Investigation Special Committee Statute are unconstitutional and must be amended," Yang said. "Until that happens, whatever the committee does or says is irrelevant."

In the meantime, the police said that they will test-fire the homemade pistols and bullets that were made by Tang Shou-yi (唐守義), an underground gunsmith who is suspected of having manufactured the weapons and ammunition used in the shooting. This testing will supplement the large body of forensic evidence the bureau has already collected and used to make its forensic analysis.

Tang was initially arrested for running an illegal weapons factory in Tainan, and he was later confirmed to be the maker of the weapons used in the assassination attempt.

In addition to "suggesting" that the Legislative Yuan should recall Chen, the committee said the Control Yuan should impeach the premier and all members of the Cabinet.

The report said that the committee's investigation "showed that the assassination attempt was not an attempted suicide, not a murder and not a crime committed by a psycho."

It was not immediately clear what facts led the committee to draw these conclusions.

Nonetheless, the committee said it had "good reason" to believe that the shooting was staged because of "human manipulation" during the investigation. It then said that insufficient evidence had been produced regarding the shooting.

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