Fri, Apr 08, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Investigation opened into KMT vice chairman's visit

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Prosecutors' Office of the Taiwan High Court has launched an investigation into Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Chiang Pin-kun's (江炳坤) visit to China, during which he reached a 10-point agreement with Beijing officials, Prosecutor-General Wu Ying-chao (吳英昭) said yesterday.

"It is a criminal case, and politics should be involved," Wu told the legislature.

"Prosecutor Chu Chia-chi (朱家崎) of the Taiwan High Court's Prosecutors' Office has been put in charge of the case. He and senior prosecutors will decide whether Chiang broke any laws," Wu said.

Minister of Justice Morley Shih (施茂林) has said that, although Chiang did not sign documents with Chinese officials, he reached an oral agreement with them.

An oral agreement in which a consensus is reached with a foreign country might constitute a violation of Article 113 of the Criminal Code, Shih said.

He said that, according to the law, an unauthorized person who secretly agrees with a foreign government or its agent on matters requiring the authorization of the government may be sent to jail for a minimum of seven years. The maximum sentence is life imprisonment.

Vice Minister of Justice Tang Jinn-chuan (湯金全) yesterday denounced the argument that China can not be considered a foreign government.

"According to Taiwan's current Constitution, Taiwan is a sovereign state, and China is another sovereign state. That makes China a foreign country," he said.

At the legislative session, People First Party Legislator Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) asked Wu why no investigation has been opened into the agreements which several Taiwanese civic organizations have signed with Beijing officials.

"Prosecutors are investigating Chiang because he is the KMT's vice chairman. Politics must be involved," Chou said.

KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) said that many Taiwanese businesspeople have signed agreements with Chinese officials without government authorization, and asked whether they would also be investigated.

Wu replied that the law does not prohibit cross-strait agreements that have nothing to do with the government or politics.

Chu said yesterday that he is gathering information from several sources.

"It will take some time before I decide whether I will summon Chiang for questioning," he said.

Prosecutors began their investigation after Tainan City Councilor Siew Po-jen (蕭博仁), a member of the Democratic Progressive Party, filed a complaint against Chiang over his 10-point agreement with Beijing officials.

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