Fri, Apr 06, 2007 - Page 3 News List

MOFA respects US court in Wang You-theng case

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan will respect the unfolding of fugitive Rebar Group chairman Wang You-theng's (王又曾) case in the US court as it has entered into the judicial phase, a senior official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

But the ministry will remain in touch with the US Justice Department to stay abreast of the latest developments, ministry spokesman David Wang (王建業) said.

Wang made the remarks following a claim by Wang's lawyer, Kevin Long (龍崗), on March 28 that Wang would be released on bail in the fourth hearing on April 4.

But the hearing was postponed and the immigration court did not explain why nor provide a date for the next hearing.

Wang faces charges of embezzling NT$73 billion (US$2.2 billion) in Rebar assets, which left the company bankrupt.

After the scandal broke earlier this year, Wang fled to China and subsequently entered the US. Wang was arrested upon his arrival in the US following an abortive attempt to travel to Myanmar via Singapore.

He has been held in the San Pedro detention center, south of Los Angeles, since Feb. 2 and faces charges of illegal entry into the US.

On March 28, immigration judge Rose Peters ruled that the accusation of illegal entry against Wang did not hold when Franklin Nelson, another Wang attorney, argued that Wang was unable to enter Singapore and therefore had never really left the US.

Long had argued that in light of this, Wang was likely to walk out on bail yesterday.

A ministry official, who requested anonymity, said the delay in the hearing was "meaningful" as Wang's lawyers had violated a gag order imposed by the US judge by talking to the media.

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