Wed, Feb 07, 2007 - Page 3 News List

MOJ shares evidence with US on Wang

PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE Taiwan has requested that the US repatriate Wang so that he can face justice but authorities were mum on whether officers were sent to Los Angeles

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has provided criminal evidence against fugitive tycoon Wang You-theng (王又曾) to US judicial authorities for reference, Vice Minister of Justice Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) said yesterday.

He refused to comment on media reports that said the ministry has sent prosecutors to Los Angeles to meet US Department of Justice officials working on the case of the fugitive Rebar Asia Pacific Group founder.

Wang is wanted in Taiwan for suspected involvement in a series of fraud and embezzlement scandals surrounding his business group.

Prosecutors were also in touch with US officials to find means by which Wang could be repatriated so that he could face justice here.

Although Lee refused to confirm the content of the media reports, prosecutorial sources told the Taipei Times that Prosecutor Lin Liang-jung (林良蓉) from the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office and another prosecutors from the Ministry of Justice had left for Los Angeles on Monday night.

Prosecutors brought the latest evidence supporting accusations of Wang's suspected money laundering and embezzlement activities in Taiwan, hoping US officials would agree to deport the white-collar criminal, sources added.

Taiwan put Wang on its most-wanted list in the middle of last month.

Wang, who attempted to fly to Myanmar via Singapore last Wednesday, was sent back to the US last Friday by Singaporean authorities as he lacked the proper travel documents.

Wang arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday and was taken into custody by US immigration officials because his Taiwan and Dominican Republic passports had been invalidated as a result of efforts by the Taiwan authorities. A US court hearing on whether Wang should be allowed to stay in the US will be held next week.

Lee said that the public expected Wang to be brought back to Taiwan to face justice. He added that it was crucial for US authorities to be briefed on the extent of Wang's involvement in the scandals surrounding his business group.

Lee said that the ministry was playing a dual role in the case.

As per the judicial assistance agreement signed between Taiwan and the US in March 2002, the ministry has been communicating directly with US judicial authorities, requesting assistance from the US Justice Department.

Moreover, many agencies under the Executive Yuan were involved with the case, particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is in charge of negotiations with the US and the MOJ, which serves as the legal adviser to the Executive Yuan.

During a separate event yesterday, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) urged the public to be patient on the case and to give the US government enough time to deal with it.

"This is a difficult case ... We shall be patient while we continue our work," he added. "Good things will happen sooner or later. We respect the US government's judicial system and the decision they will ultimately make regarding the case."

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman David Wang (王建業) said yesterday that the ministry was seeking the opinion of legal experts.

"The two parties in this lawsuit are Wang You-theng and the US government. The Taiwanese government is not the litigator in this case but only a related party," he said.

"The Taiwanese government does not have a hand in the case and will not hire the services of an attorney to go to court," he added.

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