Sun, Dec 17, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Legislators debate Chen Chih-chung's exit

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lawmakers across party lines fell over themselves yesterday to comment on the departure of the president's son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), for the US on Friday -- continuing a recent trend to hold the private activities of the first family accountable to the legislature.

Noting the deterioration in the health of Chen's mother, first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), who remained hospitalized after almost fainting in court on Friday morning, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Justin Chou (周守訓) yesterday told the press that he felt confused about Chen Chih-chung's "sudden trip abroad."

Wu was in court on Friday morning for the "state affairs fund" case. She faces prosecution along with three presidential aides.

Chen's departure for the US might prove that KMT Legislator Chiu Yi's (邱毅) previous charges against him were correct, said Chou, referring to Chiu's earlier accusation that he was in the process of applying for US residence.

Chou said he suspected Chen went to the US to take care of follow-up procedures for his immigration application or to finalize an alleged real estate investment.

Chiu yesterday claimed Chen went to the US to dodge prosecutors' possible interrogation of him over alleged perjury in the "state affairs fund" case.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Kuo-ching (林國慶) said he had no idea what could be more important than the first lady's health while fellow DPP Legislator Wang Shu-hui (王淑慧) said Chen might have rushed back to the US to handle school applications because he had mentioned several times that he would like to pursue advanced studies in the US.

Chen's wife Huang Jui-ching (黃睿靚), when approached by the press for comment, dismissed the speculation yesterday.

"Just like [Taichung Mayor Jason Hu's (胡志強) daughter] Judy Hu (胡婷婷), we came back in a hurry," said Huang, referring to Judy Hu's whirlwind return from the UK to visit her mother who was badly injured in a car accident late last month.

"We didn't have to come back so early because [there was still time] before I was due to have the baby, but the media made us come back in a hurry, so now he has to go back to take care of some things," Huang said.

The couple returned to Taiwan before the mayoral election on Dec. 9 amid wrangling between the pan-blue and pan-green camps on whether Huang would give birth to the president's grandchild in the US and make the president break his promise of not becoming a "grandfather of an American."

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