Wed, Aug 15, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Ma asks prosecutors to drop cases

`WASTE OF TIME' The former Taipei mayor said it would take more than 10 years for 1,000 prosecutors to investigate all of the special allowance funds

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou smiles at a press conference in Taipei yesterday after he was cleared of embezzlement charges.

PHOTO: SAM YEH, AFP

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged prosecutors to stop wasting energy and judicial resources on probing other public officials' use of their special allowance funds, saying that the verdict in his trial should put an end to the controversy over the funds.

Describing the verdict as the "voice of justice," Ma said an hour after learning the ruling that he had always believed he would be found innocent, adding that the ruling should resolve all disputes over the use of the special allowance fund by defining it as a subsidy.

"This waste of time and resources should be put to an end now ... The prosecutors should make a wise decision on whether they're going to look into other officials' allowance funds," Ma told a press conference yesterday at the office of Lee and Li Attorneys-at-Law.

When asked whether he meant the prosecutors should not investigate the use of such funds by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) bigwigs such as Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), Ma said the prosecutors should stop wasting time on any special allowance cases.

"This applies to everyone, whether he or she is a politician or a government official," he said.

In an effort to clear Ma's name, the KMT filed lawsuits against Lu, Su, Hsieh and other current and former government officials who had received special allowance funds.

As it took prosecutors and the district court 10 months to probe and try his case, Ma said it would take 1,000 prosecutors more than 10 years to look into all 6,500 government officials' special allowance funds.

Ma also accused "a particular prosecutor" of treating him "unfairly" during the trial and said that prosecutors distorted testimony.

"I can image there must be others whose human rights have been violated and the lack of respect for these defendants' human rights should be examined thoroughly," he said.

"During the past six months, I've endured all kinds of insults and have been disgraced while I fought for my innocence ... I will continue my fight with others who believe in the principles of integrity and justice," he said.

KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) yesterday joined other pan-blue camp members in celebrating the court ruling, expressing confidence in Ma's chances of winning next year's presidential election.

"Ma is the politician with the most integrity -- yet he was indicted on corruption charges. The party is gratified that the court has cleared his name," Wu said at KMT headquarters.

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