Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday dismissed a magazine story alleging he received illegal donations from a Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp (KRTC) board member and others when he was mayor of Kaohsiung.
The latest edition of Next Magazine, published yesterday, said Kaohsiung Prosecutor Lo Chien-hsun (羅建勛) believed Hseih should be indicted on corruption charges.
"There was no such thing," Hsieh said when approached for comment on his way to the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) Central Standing Committee meeting.
"Those who fuel such speculation before the [DPP] presidential primary are trying to influence the result of the primary," said Hsieh, who is one of the party's four presidential hopefuls.
"I have a theory about this kind of allegation," Hsieh said. "If we are to curb this kind of nasty campaign strategy, we have to prevent [those who use] the strategy from achieving [their] goal."
Hsieh became a target of investigations into the KRTC bidding scandal in March last year.
Next said Lo -- who is in charge of the investigations into the 2002 KRTC scandal -- believes Hsieh violated the Statute for the Punishment of Corruption (貪污治罪條例).
The magazine published a copy of what it said was an official document signed by Lo that had been sent from the Black Gold Center of the Kaohsiung Bureau of the Taiwan High Court to the Ministry of Justice's Bureau of Investigation on April 3.
The story quoted the document as stating that Hsieh "received inappropriate political donations from KRTC board member Yeh Chih-chung (
The amounts of the alleged donations was not mentioned.
The story said Hsieh had failed to answer three summons from the prosecutors.
Hsieh said yesterday that he had not answered the summons because he had to go to the US early last month after his mother died.
Kaohsiung prosecutors have indicted former Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Chen Che-nan (
"The manipulation behind the story is very obvious," Hsieh's campaign office spokesman Chao Tien-lin (
DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun, another presidential hopeful, said he believes Hsieh is innocent.
DPP Legislator Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) told reporters that whoever leaked the information to Next was trying to influence DPP members who will vote in Sunday's primary.
He said Lo was wrong to consider Hsieh guilty of violating the Political Contribution Act (政治獻金法) because the act did not take effect until 2004.
Hsieh also ran a front-page ad in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister paper) yesterday, saying that although "someone" was trying to discredit him, he believes the public would make its own judgment.
In other DPP developments, former Council of Labor Affairs chairman Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) was criticized yesterday over his decision to resign and start campaigning for Hsieh.
Former DPP legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水) said Lee's resignation on Tuesday would only harm the party's image because the public would question the appropriateness of a Cabinet member resigning because of his friendship with a presidential hopeful.
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