Mon, Mar 21, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Investigation body not opposed: Hsieh

NEW PLAN Premier Frank Hsieh said yesterday that a second committee investigating the March 19 shooting incident will not be opposed by any Cabinet agencies

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Cabinet agencies would not oppose an investigation conducted by a new legislative committee into the March 19 assassination attempt on President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) if the committee is established in accordance with the law, Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said yesterday.

"As long as the committee is legal and constitutional, I am not averse to the establishment of a new one," Hsieh said.

"I have asked Cabinet agencies to cooperate with the new committee and they no longer need to oppose investigation efforts," he said.

Hsieh made the remark yesterday morning after attending the inauguration ceremony of the Legislative Alliance for Science and Technology (立法院科技立法聯盟) in the legislative compound.

The alliance is made up of 20 lawmakers from across party lines. It is headed by People First Party (PFP) Lawmaker Lee Yung-ping (李永萍) and co-headed by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Lawmaker Julian Kuo (郭正亮) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers Lee Jih-chu (李紀珠) and John Wu (吳志揚).

Hsieh's remarks yesterday echoed those made by the president on Saturday, when he said that he supports a second truth investigation committee if it is established in conformity with the Constitution.

Chen also said that both KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) are good candidates for heading such a committee.

The first attempt at establishing such a committee was dismissed when the last legislature ended in January. While the KMT and PFP have been trying to establish a second one, the DPP and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) insist that the March 19 Shooting Truth Investigation Special Committee Statute (三一九槍擊事件真相調查特別委員會條例) be amended before a new committee is brought into being.

The Council of Grand Justices also ruled that some clauses of the statute were unconstitutional and that they should be amended. Former premier Yu Shyi-kun therefore requested that Cabinet officials refuse to cooperate with the questionable committee.

As the amended statute has been pushed through to legislative committee for review, the DPP and KMT legislative caucuses yesterday said that they plan to ask Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) today to call a cross-party meeting to discuss the matter as soon as possible.

Commenting on Chen's proposal that Lien or Soong would make good candidates for the position as head of the committee, KMT Lawmaker Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) yesterday said that the idea sounds "quixotic."

"If President Chen really meant what he says about looking forward to finding the truth about the shooting, he should have asked the DPP caucus not to boycott the establishment of the new committee any longer," Tseng said.

Painting the president's proposal as "inappropriate," PFP caucus whip Chen Chih-bin (陳志彬) said that it does not make sense for either Lien or Soong to lead the committee because they are plaintiffs in the legal case and should avoid a conflict of interest.

DPP caucus whip Lai Ching-teh (賴清德), however, said that it would make perfect sense for Lien or Soong to head the committee because they are the ones who demand a probe into the incident and refuse to recognize the legitimacy of Chen's presidency.

Meanwhile, Hsieh yesterday still remained tight-lipped about whether he will participate in the demonstration scheduled for March 26. The demonstration is organized by the DPP to protest against China's "Anti-Secession" Law.

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