Fri, Oct 06, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Legislator claims proof of Chen graft

`RELIABLE SOURCE' Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lee Ching-hua said the president had given `special allowance' funds to Kung Chin-yuan to invest in real estate

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Presidential Office yesterday dismissed an allegation made by an opposition legislator that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) had fraudulently claimed that a China-based businessman is a secret agent working for him and is paid from the president's special allowance fund.

"The allegation is false because the president has never offered any names to Prosecutor Eric Chen (陳瑞仁)," Presidential Office spokesman David Lee (李南陽) said.

David Lee said President Chen only provided receipts to Eric Chen. Since prosecutors are still investigating the case, Lee said that they had no further comment on the matter.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) told the legislature's Organic Laws and Statutes Committee yesterday morning that a reliable source told him that the president had wired NT$20 million (US$625,000) to China-based businessman Kung Chin-yuan (龔金源).

The legislator claimed that the money came from President Chen's special allowance fund and was actually used to invest in real estate in China.

Lee Ching-hua said President Chen had showed a receipt for the amount to Eric Chen and that he would be happy to meet with Eric Chen to discuss the matter.

Lee Ching-Hua said he had double-checked his sources and was willing to put his political career on the line.

"If what I say is wrong, I'll resign as a legislator," he said. "But if President Chen continues to lie about the fund, he should resign as the president."

President Chen has claimed that part of the fund was used to pay secret agents or informants involved in a diplomatic mission code named "The South Route Project" (南線專案).

Lee Ching-hua yesterday criticized President Chen for lying about the use of the fund and said he suspected that President Chen had a close relationship with Kung and had used him to embezzle money from the fund.

Lee Ching-hua said Kung was appointed by President Chen when he was Taipei mayor as the city's representative in its sister city, Dallas.

After Chen was elected president in 2000, Kung was assigned by the Ministry of Finance as a representative of state shareholders at Taiwan Business Bank in July 2000, Lee Ching-hua claimed, adding that after Kung's mother passed away, President Chen had attended her funeral in June 2004.

In December last year, Kung was appointed by the ministry as a representative of public shareholders at First Financial Holding Company, Lee Ching-hua said.

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