Tue, May 30, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Ex-DPP legislator says Chen took cash from fugitive

SUSPICIOUS Shen Fu-hsiung, who stayed quiet in 2004 when a tycoon said he'd made the donations, yesterday said he was present when the money was handed over

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Shen Fu-hsiung (沈富雄) yesterday raised an issue that had caused a stir in the 2004 presidential election, saying that fugitive tycoon Chen Yu-hao (陳由豪) had made a political donation to President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in 1994 when Chen was campaigning for Taipei mayor.

The controversy nearly derailed Chen Shui-bian's campaign to be re-elected president against competition from then Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰).

Days before the 2004 poll, Chen Yu-hao accused Chen Shui-bian of accepting political donations six times and said that, accompanied by Shen, he had met first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) in her Mingsheng E Road residence, giving her NT$6 million (US$187,617).

His claim raised questions about Chen Shui-bian's integrity and caused Chen's support rating in polls to fall.

At that time, Shen would not answer directly when asked about Chen Yu-hao's claims and the alleged meeting with Wu.

Shen yesterday confirmed he had taken Chen Yu-hao to visit Wu and added that the president's son-in-law's recent alleged involvement in insider trading simply "mimicked" the behavior of his mother-in-law Wu, who often made phone calls to meddle in governmental issues.

Shen yesterday also ridiculed Chen Shui-bian, saying he had become a "lame duck" president.

But Chao's case had not yet burned the president and the first lady, he said.

"If the scandal is found to be related to the president and his wife, then the president would become a roast duck," he added.

Shen said the most urgent thing for Chen Shui-bian now was to sit down and talk with Wu and Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Ma Yung-cheng (馬永成), straighten out what they had done and tell the truth.

"If the president can correct his mistakes, I believe he will still be able to leave office with a good reputation," Shen said, adding that he regretted he had not made things clear in 2004.

If he had done so, he said, the case involving Chao might not have occurred.

"I was worried that if I told the whole story about the political donation, the DPP would place all the responsibility for the president's failure to be re-elected on me," Shen said.

DPP Legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水) yesterday said he agreed with Shen.

"If the president had dealt with those controversies well, the Chao case would not have happened," Lin said.

But DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) criticized Shen's remarks, saying they were of no value because "Shen is notorious for his changeable rhetoric."

In response to Shen's claim, Presidential Office Spokesman David Lee (李南陽) said yesterday the office had made a thorough explanation in response to Chen Yu-hao's accusations in 2004 and would not comment on the matter now.

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