Minister of the Interior Lee Yi-yang (
"Ma, as an important political leader of the nation, should not make groundless remarks to humiliate the police in order to achieve his political goals," Lee said in the legislature's Home and Nations Committee yesterday.
Lee said he would be very happy to have a public debate with Ma "for three days and three nights" to clear up the matter.
On Wednesday Ma said "it will be a great humiliation for the police and judicial system if the investigation into the 319 shooting incident reaches no conclusion this time."
Lee said Ma shouldn't make such an unfair judgment because the police serve the country, not any political party.
The Taipei mayor told reporters later that investigators needed to convince the public of their findings, not him.
"Political figures should focus their efforts on finding the truth ?[Lee] doesn't need to persuade me. He should persuade all of the public," Ma said.
Both Lee and National Police Agency Director-General Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) had been asked to attend yesterday's committee meeting by People First Party (PFP) Legislator Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀), one of the committee's chairs, to brief members on the investigation report.
Chang Hsi-kuang (
Chang Hsien-yao had also asked Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) to attend the meeting as a victim of the shooting. Lu didn't appear.
During the meeting, opposition legislators and Chang Hsi-kuang raised several questions on the shooting.
"The incident was investigated for one year and five months. While not everyone was happy with the investigation process, it was not flawed," Hou said.
Hou said he would welcome anyone who could provide new evidence to the police because it was not a problem for the police and prosecutors to reopen the investigation if there were new clues or information.
Chang Hsi-kuang said family members of alleged shooter Chen Yi-hsiung (陳義雄) had been forced to confess that Chen was the shooter.
"Chen's family members told me that they were asked to write an apology which began with `As for the incident that Chen [Yi-hsiung] shot the president.' Originally, they had written `As for Chen's involvement [in the incident],'" Chang Hsi-kuang said.
He said the family members were asked by Prosecutor Wang San-jung (
Wang called a press conference in Tainan later in the day to say that the family members had requested that the change be made to their statement.
In other developments, DPP Legislator Wang Hsing-nan (
Meanwhile, Vice President Lu voiced her opposition yesterday to the legislature setting up a second committee to investigate the 2004 shooting.
She said any probe should be left up to the new state public prosecutor-general.
She said her opposition was based on the need to safeguard the separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches of government.