Wed, Aug 16, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Chiu Yi blasted over visits to Ligi Lee

UNDER FIRE While agents of the Ministry of Justice's Investigation Bureau kept the fashion designer and her receipts behind tight security, Chiu Yi visited her twice

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

Ligi Lee holds a press conference at the Far Eastern Plaza Hotel in Taipei yesterday to clarify her role in the controversial case.


Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) yesterday came under fire for visiting Ligi Lee (李慧芬) both before and during her questioning by prosecutors.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Spokesman Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) demanded that prosecutors file a lawsuit against Chiu for interfering with a judicial investigation.

Ligi Lee, a key figure in the probe surrounding the first family, was immediately placed under the protection of the Ministry of Justice's Investigation Bureau (MJIB) upon her arrival in Taipei on Sunday night. About 20 MJIB agents escorted Lee to a hotel and were posted outside her room.

"Ligi Lee was kept behind several layers of protection by MJIB agents, who didn't allow anybody to approach her. Why did the agents allow Chiu Yi to meet her?" Tsai said.

Around 12am yesterday morning, Chiu showed up at the venue where Lee was being questioned, following which he went out and made comments about the case to reporters.

"It's unbelievable that the prosecutors, who are supposed to handle cases independently, let Chiu Yi in. It's really ridiculous," DPP Legislator Wang Shih-cheng (王世堅) said.

Chiu said he went to the interrogation venue not to interfere with the investigation, but to check on Ligi Lee's well-being after she was questioned for more than 10 hours.

The Presidential Office yesterday dismissed a report in the Chinese-language China Times that the president's secret discretionary fund had been used to reimburse the purchase of a fur coat.

"We hope the media will stop spreading rumors and misleading the public," the Presidential Office said in a statement yesterday, adding that the newspaper report had no basis in fact.

The statement said that nothing further could be added to a statement issued on April 13, in which the Presidential Office dismissed media reports that first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) had used Sogo Department Store vouchers to make purchases totaling about NT$240,000 on Feb. 20 and March 6, 2003.

The Presidential Office said that Wu had actually made three purchases totaling about NT$40,000 during that period, and that the purchases were made with vouchers bought jointly by Wu and her friends.

The statement said that Wu did not spend NT$100,000 on bed linen on Feb. 20, as some reports have claimed, although she did buy NT$10,000 worth of blankets and duvets.

It also denied that Wu made a NT$140,000 purchase on March 6, 2003, saying that the first lady had merely accompanied a friend, who bought a coat.

On April 4, Wu spent about NT$10,000 on a blazer, the statement said.

The report of the fur coat is nothing more than idle rumor, DPP caucus whip Yeh Yi-ching (葉宜津) said yesterday, and asked that the paper produce evidence to back up its allegation.

"If there were anything wrong with the Presidential Office's receipts, they wouldn't have gotten away with it," she said.

"We will not try to conceal their fault if there is any concrete evidence," Yeh said.

She said that she was under the impression that Ligi Lee was embroiled in a financial dispute with her cousin Lee Bi-chun (李碧君), and said that Wu has never asked Lee Bi-chun to collect any receipts for her.

DPP Legislator Lin Kuo-ching (林國慶) said that Ligi Lee was notorious for running up debts and called on her to return all the money as soon as possible or he would mobilize her creditors to demand payment from her.

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