Sun, Apr 29, 2007 - Page 3 News List

DPP officials to be questioned on allowance funds next week

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Accounting officials handling the special allowance funds of prominent member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will be questioned next week in a probe into alleged misuse of the funds, a special investigation panel under the Supreme Prosecutors Office said yesterday.

Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南), director of the panel, said that cases involving the funds were assigned to two teams of prosecutors earlier this month.

The prosecutors have been examining evidence since then, he said.

"The prosecutors have yet to summon any of the defendants to explain their use of the funds," he said.

Former Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was indicted in February for alleged embezzlement of his special allowance fund.

Prosecutor Hou Kuan-jen (侯寬仁) alleged that Ma misused half of his fund, putting it directly into his personal banking accounts during his two terms as mayor between 1998 and last year.

Meanwhile, in a similar probe of Tainan Mayor Hsu Tain-tsair's (許添財) special allowance fund, prosecutors dropped the case last month, saying that the half of the fund that went directly to the mayor's banking accounts was in fact an "actual subsidy."

The Supreme Prosecutors Office will convene a meeting of the prosecutors next month to decide upon a consistent definition of the nature of the funds, Chen said.

However, the panel would investigate each case based solely on facts and evidence, he said.

Any consensus reached at the meeting would be used only as a point of reference and would not affect the probes now underway, he said.

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