Thu, May 25, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Defense ministry probes top general over stock scandal

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) has launched a probe into the alleged involvement of General Yu Lien-fa (余連發), commander of the Armed Forces Reserve, in a stock trading scandal, the ministry said yesterday.

"Yu reported the matter of his wife buying Yieh United Steel Corp [YUSC] shares to me. Although he assured me that the investment was legal, the MND is investigating to make sure," Minister of National Defense Lee Jye (李傑) told reporters yesterday.

While investigating claims that former Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Chen Che-nan (陳哲男) had received bribes from Liang Po-hsun (梁柏薰), a businessman who had been found guilty of embezzling funds from the Overseas Chinese Bank, Taipei prosecutors discovered that a man named Yang Chen-feng (楊振豐) had contributed funds for Yu's wife to buy shares in YUSC.

Taipei District Prosecutor's Office Spokesman Lin Pang-liang (林邦樑) said yesterday that prosecutors had summoned Yu's wife for questioning over the stock purchase. She was released without being charged with a crime.

The investigation was still underway, Lin added.

The MND said that according to Yu's property report to the MND, his wife had bought 550 YUSC shares for around NT$10 million (US$312,000), and that she held a total of 635 YUSC shares last year.

However, Yu did not disclose these holdings in previous years' reports, the ministry said.

The Chinese-language China Times newspaper yesterday reported that Yang had told prosecutors he had given Yu's wife around NT$4 million to buy 200 YUSC shares, but the Yu family returned the money.

Yu is a former head of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) bodyguard detachment.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) yesterday accused Yu of involvement in stock-market speculation.

Chiu said that this case was similar to the one in which the president's son-in-law was allegedly involved. Chiu said that Chao Yu-chu (趙玉柱), father of the president's son-in-law, Chao Chien-ming (趙建銘), had played an important role in the alleged speculation involving YUSC shares.

The KMT caucus yesterday criticized Yu for not registering his family's holdings in YUSC in his obligatory financial disclosure.

"Yu is a general. It's a shame that he is involved in such an act of concealment," KMT Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) said.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan

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