Mon, Nov 27, 2006 - Page 3 News List

KMT lawmakers criticize `interference'

BITING BACK The Taiwan High Court Prosecutor-General denied that political pressure had been exerted on him regarding his investigation of Ma Ying-jeou

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Huang Chun-ying, left, feeds his wife Liao Mei-chin glutinous rice balls while KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou, right, tries his hand at cooking at an event organized by the Friends of Huang Chun-ying in Kaohsiung yesterday.

PHOTO: CNA

A group of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday accused the government of interfering with the judicial investigation into Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) handling of his mayoral special allowance.

Taiwan High Court Prosecutor-General Hsieh Wen-ting (謝文定) was required to decide whether to indict Ma for the matter before the Dec. 9 elections for the mayors of Taipei and Kaohsiung, KMT Legislator Justin Chou (周守訓) told a press conference.

"The investigation into the allegation against President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) state affairs fund has dragged on. Why does Ma have to be indicted within two months?" he asked.

Chou also criticized Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) for sitting on a document proposed to help prosecutors clear up the "gray area" of the allowance system.

Ma, who was accused of misusing the fund, has defended himself by saying that potential problems with the way that he handled the mayoral special allowance were the result of pitfalls in the way the allowance system was organized.

The case is now being handled by Prosecutor Hou Kuan-jen (侯寬仁) of the Black Gold Investigation Center of the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors' Office.

"The document proposed by the officials with the seventh section of the Executive Yuan would help prosecutors understand the systemic problems with the special allowance fund, but Su refused to hand it over to prosecutors," Chou said.

Chou, however, didn't provide evidence for either accusation.

In response, Hsieh said that "It is untrue [that prosecutors were asked to indict Ma by Dec.9.]" "[Chou is] full of crap. Neither I nor the Black Gold Investigation Center has suffered political pressure for the investigation [into Ma's fund]," Hsieh said, urging lawmakers to provide proof of their accusations instead of talking through their hats.

Cabinet Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) also denied Chou's charge that the government had interfered in the judiciary investigation into Ma.

"I have no idea where the lawmaker's accusation came from. Since it is a legal case, a decision regarding any possible irregularities will be decided by prosecutors. The premier never tries to hold sway over prosecutors," he said.

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