Wed, Dec 06, 2006 - Page 3 News List

KMT lawmakers want new probe into 319 shooting

FUGITIVE STORY Tang Shou-yi, the wanted arms maker, issued a letter retracting his confession, saying that the police told him exactly what to say

By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators Tsai Chi-fang, right, and Yu Jan-daw point to a photo of fugitive tycoon Chen Yu-hao yesterday during a press conference accusing the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of trying to distort the outcome of the upcoming mayoral elections.

PHOTO: LO PEI-DER, TAIPEI TIMES

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday demanded prosecutors re-investigate the election-eve shooting of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) on March 19, 2004.

The demand came after arms maker Tang Shou-yi (唐守義), who is living in China, retracted the confession he originally made to prosecutors and disclosed what he called "the truth" in a letter to reporters and KMT Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華).

Tang said the 319 shooting investigation report was fabricated by the police, and he was asked to say what the police wanted when he made his statement.

National Police Agency (NPA) Director-General Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) met me several times and implied that I had to act in accordance with their "plot," Tang said in a letter to Lee.

"I was told by the police that I would be released if I cooperated with them and promised to leave the country soon after," Tang said in the letter.

"Five days after my release, I got a phone call from the prosecutors. They wanted to know when I would leave Taiwan. I told them I needed to spend some time with my family," he said.

Tang, who was imprisoned for fraud last year, completed his sentence in May and fled to China in August.

KMT Legislator Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆) told a press conference that Tang's accusation was entirely plausible.

"Why else would prosecutors suggest a six-and-a-half-year sentence for him for arms making without prohibiting him from leaving the country," Tsai said.

Prosecutors closed the investigation into the 319 shooting last August, concluding that a dead construction worker, Chen Yi-hsiung (陳義雄), who was filmed standing near the shooting scene, was entirely responsible for the assassination attempt.

Tang alleged that Chen Yi-hsiung wasn't at the scene when the gun was fired and the scar left on the president's belly was not caused by the gun he made.

However, NPA Deputy Director-General Hung Sheng-kun rebutted Tang's accusations in a press conference, saying that there were no irregularities during the investigation.

Kuo Chen-ni (郭珍妮), a spokeswoman for the Tainan District Prosecutors' Office, yesterday told a press conference that people should trust forensic expert Henry Lee (李昌鈺), who assisted in the reconstruction of the crime scene and the forensic examinations, before publishing a report that said the shooting was genuine.

"Should we believe a prestigious forensic expert, or a wanted man?" Kuo added.

Tang's statements during the investigation were recorded by prosecutors and police in accordance with the law, and his statements were cross-checked before prosecutors came to the conclusion they were the truth, she said, adding that Tang's accusations were "groundless."

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday accused Tang of collaborating with the KMT and China in a bid to influence Saturday's mayoral elections.

DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-fang (蔡啟芳) told a press conference that Tang, who is in China, contradicted himself by saying in the letter that the bullet found by the police at the scene of the shooting was made by him while the wound on President Chen's body was not a match with that bullet.

Tsai said the contradiction resulted from Tang's failure to explain why his bullet ended up being found on Chen's person.

DPP Legislator Yu Jan-daw (余政道), who was also present at the conference, said the KMT was trying to influence the results of the election by employing the same tactics it used before the presidential election in 2004, when it had fugitive tycoon Chen Yu-hao (陳由豪) make groundless accusations against the president.

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