Mon, Aug 21, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Newspaper says sorry to Chao over jewelry story

APOLOGY The `United Daily News' published an apology to Chao Chien-ming for failing to verify the facts before accusing him of selling his jewelry

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Chinese-language United Daily News yesterday ran an apology for alleging that President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁)) son-in-law, Chao Chien-ming (趙建銘) had been selling his jewelry.

"We would like to apologize to Mr. Chao Chien-ming, Mr. Su Teh-jien (蘇德建) and our readers for failing to verify the facts before running the story," the statement said, which was printed on the paper's front page yesterday at about the size of two stamps.

The apology came in the wake of comments made by Chao's lawyer, Ku Li-hsiung (顧立雄), who said his client threatened to file a libel suit against the newspaper if the paper did not apologize by today.

The United Daily News published a story on its front page last Friday, quoting anonymous sources in the jewelry business as saying that Chao, indicted in a high-profile insider trading case, had sold a 13-carat diamond to a Hong Kong jewelry house.

The report claimed that Chao had asked Su to sell the NT$16 million (US$500,000) diamond at a lower price tag of NT$13 million after Chao was released on bail last month.

Chao bought the diamond from a jewelry store via a retired vice admiral before the insider-trading scandal broke, the report said, adding that the diamond was eventually sold for NT$6.8 million in Hong Kong.

Ku yesterday said that Chao was not completely happy with the apology, but that he found it acceptable.

Ku said that he would ask Chao not to press charges against the newspaper.

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