Wed, Jul 12, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Lien, Soong might accept apology from Chen: lawyer

CNA , TAIPEI

The lawyer for former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) said yesterday the two might accept a public apology from President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) for alleging they had tried to stage a "soft coup d'etat" following their election loss in 2004.

But accepting an apology did not mean the facts could be twisted, said Lee Fu-tien (李復甸), who attended a court hearing on the case on Monday where presiding judge Wang Sheng-hui (王聖惠) advised the two sides to reach a settlement.

Lee said Lien and Soong were not just trying to cause trouble when they filed the slander suit against the president.

"But they are by no means men without principles," Lee said.

While Lien and Soong would be willing to reach a settlement with Chen, some basic facts must not be blurred, such as the fact the president had publicly alleged that a sort of "coup d'etat" or "soft coup d'etat" had been attempted by Lien and Soong.

If Chen expressed "some form of apology" for having made those allegations -- for example, by saying that he had made them hastily -- Lee said he might recommend his clients accept a settlement.

If Chen refused to address the issue and continued to claim he was not referring to Lien and Soong in his remarks, then his clients would not be interested in accepting the judge's advice to settle, Lee said.

He said there were numerous ways to express an apology, such as through the media.

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