Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi (
Chiu filed the lawsuit with the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors' Office "Black Gold" Investigation Center, a special task force established to crack down on political corruption.
Chiu made the accusation based on receipts that he said he received from Ligi Lee (
Chiu quoted Ligi Lee as saying that her cousin Lee Bi-chun (
Chiu presented copies of more than 100 receipts issued by the Taipei Grand Hyatt Hotel to Ligi Lee between 2003 and last year at a press conference yesterday.
He said that 44 of the receipts, amounting to NT$3.36 million (US$102,220), were given by Lee Bi-chun to Wu.
The Presidential Office issued a statement on Wednesday saying that all reimbursements had been handled according to the regulations.
The statement didn't comment on whether or not members of the first family had submitted receipts from the Grand Hyatt Hotel, citing confidentiality.
An anonymous Presidential Office official was quoted yesterday by the Chinese-language Liberty Times, the Taipei Times' sister paper, as saying that receipts received from Lee Bi-chun had indeed been submitted for reimbursement. However, the report said that the money had not gone to Wu, but to a person who acted as a go-between with the nation's de facto diplomatic mission in Australia.
The paper said the government had commissioned an investor based in Australia to seek to enhance the relationship between Taiwan and Australia. The report claimed that the secret project began in 2003, when China was making advances to Australia, and was called the "South Route Project."
The anonymous official told the paper that the go-between had requested reimbursement and the receipts from Lee Bi-chun had been used for that purpose. The report added that the Presidential Office had signed invoices from the go-between.
The Presidential Office refused to comment on the report yesterday.
Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs James Huang (
Huang was deputy secretary-general of the Presidential Office before his appointment as minister of foreign affairs in January.
"I have never heard of [the `South Route Project'] and know nothing about it, so I cannot comment on it," Huang told reporters.
Additional reporting by Chang Yun-ping