Tue, Apr 11, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Chiu Yi accuses official of graft

ALLEGATIONS KMT Legislator Chiu Yi alleged corruption by Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Ma Yung-cheng, who responded by threatening to sue

By Shih Hsiu-chuan, Jewel Huang and Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Presidential Office Secretary-General Mark Chen gestures yesterday while commenting on recent accusations leveled against first lady Wu Shu-jen. Chen said Wu had not received any inappropriate gifts from anyone.


Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu-yi (邱毅) yesterday accused Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Ma Yung-cheng (馬永成) of being involved in two syndicates which he said had embezzled billions of dollars from investors.

Chiu made the remarks in a press conference at the legislature, where dozens of people said that they had been deceived into investing in projects set up by the syndicates.

"Chen Yu-shen (陳育珅), the key figure behind the two syndicates, defrauded more than 30,000 people of some NT$15.3 billion [US$473 million] by working under Lu Chung-ming (呂崇民), and Lu is Ma's cousin," Chiu said.


Chiu said that Lu had publicly endorsed Chen's investment projects, encouraging investors to back Chen's firms.

"Lu appealed to the investors saying that he had a very strong supporter in the Presidential Office. The `supporter' he referred to was Ma," Chiu said.

Chiu said that prosecutors had indicted Chen Yu-shen, who was then running the Futung Group (阜東集團), on fraud charges and racketeering in 2003, recommending a 14-year jail term, but that a verdict hadn't been reached until now.

"It was all because of Ma's intervention," Chiu said.

"Ma's illegal lobbying regarding Chen Yu-shen's lawsuit gave him another opportunity to embezzle more money from investors of Chant World International Co," Chiu said.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Chen Chin-jun (陳景竣) said yesterday that Ma was furious at Chiu's groundless charges against him and that he was willing to resign from his post if Chiu could present evidence within three days.

"Otherwise Chiu should resign from his legislative seat and take responsibility for his libelous comments," Chen Chin-jun said after attending a weekly meeting of the Presidential Office and the DPP legislative caucus.

Chiu also said that DPP Legislator Hsu Jung-shu (許榮淑), the president of Chant World International, was also involved in the embezzlement.

Hsu denied this, saying she was also a victim.

Chiu last week accused Ma of other misconduct, such as being involved in stock speculation with other DPP officials.

"This week will be Ma's week," Chiu said, adding that he would expose more scandals related to Ma in the coming days.

Ma issued a statement late yesterday afternoon denying any knowledge of or connection to the people Chiu mentioned.

First lady

Meanwhile, Presidential Office Secretary-General Mark Chen (陳唐山) yesterday told Chiu and another opposition legislator to step down or face a defamation lawsuit for falsely accusing President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) and Ma.

KMT Legislator Lee Chuan-chiao (李全教) yesterday accused Wu of accepting gift coupons from the Sogo Department Store and making tens of thousands of dollars worth of purchases.

The Presidential Office said it would file a slander suit against Lee, while Ma said he would not rule out filing a suit against KMT Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅).

Mark Chen said that Lee and Chiu should produce evidence to prove their allegations.

"It is no longer a legal issue, but has become a political problem," Mark Chen said. "It is regrettable to see irresponsible politicians shamefully holding on to their positions after repeatedly making groundless allegations, and to see the public and media tolerate this behavior."

Lee asked the Presidential Office to make public the numbers of the Sogo Department Store gift coupons which he said Wu had used.

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