Fri, Mar 24, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Head of investigation bureau testifies in Soong's slander case

CNA , TAIPEI

The Bureau of Investigation confirmed yesterday that bureau Director Yeh Sheng-mao (葉盛茂) gave testimony at the Taipei District Court in February in a slander suit filed by People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) against President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) for claiming that Soong had met with a senior Chinese official early last year.

Soong filed the lawsuit in June last year, demanding the president pay NT$50 million (US$1.5 million) in compensation and publish an apology in major newspapers for defaming him.

The president had said that Soong met with Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), director of Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office, in January last year in the US.

The president said he based his statements about the Soong-Chen meeting on "something" that could prove him right.

During a court hearing in December last year, the president's lawyer, Lin Chih-hao (林志豪), presented a classified document to the judge which Lin said would prove Soong and Chen had met in January last year.

As the classified evidence was related to Yeh, he was summoned to give testimony in a secret hearing in February.

The bureau said that it could not disclose the content of Yeh's testimony to the court as he had reached an agreement with the court to keep it confidential.

According to a story in local Chinese-language newspaper the China Times yesterday, Yeh told the court that the "evidence" of the alleged Soong-Chen meeting was based on media reports and when pressed by the judge, he said he did not know whether the meeting took place.

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