Tue, Jun 05, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Top DPP officials may be questioned over special funds

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Supreme Prosecutors' Office said yesterday that several prominent Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) figures would be summoned for questioning next month over the use of their public discretionary special allowance funds.

The Supreme Prosecutors' Office held a press conference yesterday to report on the progress of its special investigation panel's probe into the public officials' use of their allowance funds following complaints from the pan-blue camp.

The subjects of the probe include Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), former premier and currently DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun, former premier and DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and National Security Council Secretary-General Mark Chen (陳唐山).

"Prosecutors have been busy examining evidence relating to five politicians' use of their special allowances and will likely summon them for questioning next month," Prosecutor Hou Kuan-jen (侯寬仁) said.

He said the whole investigation would, "hopefully," be completed this year or before the presidential election next March.

Hou said that because President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) had allotted part of his "state affairs funds" to Lu and Mark Chen for special use, it added to the complexity of the prosecutors' investigation into these officials' use of their funds.

Hou denied any delay in the probe as pan-blue parties had claimed.

Hou was the key figure behind the indictment of former Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) over his alleged misuse of the discretionary special allowance fund during his mayoral term between 1998 and last year.

Hou alleged that Ma misused half of his mayoral fund by wiring it directly into his personal banking accounts. The indictment in February forced Ma to resign as chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Ma has denied any wrongdoing.

Dissatisfied with the prosecutors' explanation, KMT Legislator Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) said after the conference yesterday that the party would stage a protest at the prosecutors' office today.

"Ma was indicted about three months after his case was reported to prosecutors. It's been nine months after the complaints about the four DPP heavyweights were reported to prosecutors, but none of them have been questioned during this period," he said.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan

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