Sun, Sep 30, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Ma office files lawsuit against Hsieh

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou, right, and co-runner Vincent Siew, left, symbolically issue another ''check,'' or election promise, at the launch of a Ma-Siew support group composed by China-based Taiwanese businessmen yesterday.

PHOTO: CHANG CHIA-MING, TAIPEI TIMES

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) campaign office filed a defamation lawsuit yesterday against Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) for remarks about Ma's special allowance funds case.

After being cleared of his own mayoral allowance case last week, Hsieh slammed Ma for paying for his dog's physical exam and his daughters' tuition fees with money from his special Taipei mayoral allowance and challenged the Taipei District Court's ruling that found Ma not guilty.

Ma spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) condemned Hsieh yesterday for making false accusations and argued that Ma had never used fake receipts to file for reimbursement.

"It was the city government staffer, Yu Wen (余文), who collected receipts for reimbursement, not Ma. Both the prosecutors and the court agreed that Ma was not guilty in this part," Lo said in a written statement.

Lo said the court had found Ma not guilty and the prosecutors had not indicted Ma over the money spent on his dog and daughters.

"Ma was indicted over the part of the allowance that required no receipts and he did not use his special allowance to pay for his daughters' tuition fees," Lo said.

In response to Hsieh's claim that he had never used fake receipts, Lo said the prosecutors had believed what Hsieh had said without challenging it and condemned the prosecutor for applying double standards in the two cases.

"Hsieh's distortion [of the facts] has damaged Ma's reputation. As a lawyer, Hsieh should not spread rumors and turn his campaign into a smearing center," Lo said, adding that Ma's camp would file a lawsuit against Hsieh to prevent him from making more accusations.

In response to the lawsuit, Hsieh campaign spokesman Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) said Ma had intentionally embezzled the special allowance funds and that the office has requested that the Taipei District Court continue investigating the case.

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