Thu, Oct 13, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Body armor causes legislative spat

BY KO SHU-LING  /  STAFF REPORTER

Pan-blue and pan-green legislative caucuses yesterday accused each other over three pieces of body armor borrowed by a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker for what she said was self protection during Tuesday's legislative battle.

Three sets of armor, shields and helmets were borrowed by DPP Legislator Sandy Chuang (莊和子) from the National Police Administration (NPA) last Wednesday. The gear, however, was seized by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus, who refused to return it to Chuang.

Chuang said that she borrowed the gear to protect herself and other female DPP lawmakers.

"I was so scared that I would be beaten up again by the `woman hitting party,'" she said. "I can at least try to protect myself, can't I?"

Chuang was taken to hospital after engaging in physical clashes with KMT Legislator Liao Wan-ju (廖婉汝) during the Sept. 13 plenary session.

DPP Legislator Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) yesterday said that the KMT's behavior was a clear act of theft.

"It is ridiculous that the KMT stole the equipment from Chuang and refused to give it back," he said. "We have filed a police report and will let the judicial system take care of the matter."

Hsu also criticized KMT lawmakers who dressed up in taekwando outfits on Tuesday.

KMT legislators yesterday asked the NPA to bear the responsibility for lending the gear to DPP legislators, who they claimed would have used them as weapons during Tuesday's session.

"The NPA was the DPP legislators' accomplice," said KMT Legislator Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順), adding that the equipment would be kept as evidence.

In response, the NPA's Deputy Director-General Shieh Hsiu-Neng (謝秀能) said that the three pieces of equipment were not "weapons."

"We lent the equipment at the request of the lawmakers.We have done it in the past and will continue to do so in the future," Shieh said.

"We lend the equipment to legislators when they need them for their work, regardless of their party and have no intention of getting involved in the legislature's business," he said.

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