Wed, Oct 17, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Lin skeptical of Ma vow to reopen murder case

QUESTIONS Ma's vow to take a new look at a series of murders under the KMT government is prompting critics to ask why he did not do so as minister of justice

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) yesterday brushed aside Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) promise that he would launch fresh investigations into the brutal murders of Lin's family members if he were elected, saying Ma would never make any headway, even if he were president.

"It is nice of Ma to want to reopen the case," Lin said outside the legislature yesterday.

"However, the KMT was in power for 20 years after the attack and no progress was ever made," he said.

Lin's six-year-old twin daughters and their grandmother were murdered on Feb. 28, 1980, while he was in jail for participating in pro-democracy demonstrations in Kaohsiung in December 1979.

Lin maintains the attack was politically motivated.

DEMOCRACY

Describing the KMT as a hindrance to the nation's democratic development, Lin said the KMT should dedicate itself to democracy or its political influence will dwindle.

If it can demonstrate some achievements in the pursuit of democracy, the KMT may be able to put up a good fight in the legislative election in January and presidential election in March, he said.

The prospect of a KMT victory in the two elections is dim, however, as its score card on democratization has been disappointing, he said.

Meanwhile, DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh's (謝長廷) camp yesterday said it would like to know why Ma did not investigate the Lin case when he was minister of justice.

Presidential Office Secretary-General Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭), who doubles as Hsieh's campaign director, said she was curious to know why Ma had changed his definition of the Lin case from "political" to "judicial" and of concern to public safety.

"Does he have a guilty conscience? What is he afraid of?" Yeh asked.

Yeh said she also wondered whether Ma had felt any compunction after being hired by KMT authorities to spy on Chen Wen-cheng (陳文成) when Ma was a student in the US.

Carnegie Mellon University professor Chen Wen-cheng was found dead on the grounds of National Taiwan University a day after being questioned by secret police in 1981.

The then-KMT government said he had committed suicide.

QUESTIONS

"Why didn't he reopen Lin's case and that of Chen Wen-cheng's [alleged murder] when he was minister of justice or party chairman?" Yeh asked. "Why did he have to wait until he is running for president?"

Showing a copy of a student editorial written by Ma when he was a student in the US, DPP Legislator Huang Chien-huei (黃劍輝), who doubles as a spokesman for Hsieh's campaign office, urged Ma to divulge who had killed Chen Wen-cheng.

In the editorial, Ma said the cause of death was either accident or murder.

In response to the criticism, Ma criticized the DPP yesterday for failing to look into the unsolved mysteries from the White Terror era and asked it to show the evidence upon which the spying accusations made against him were based.

During a visit to Green Island on Sunday, Ma promised to investigate unsolved mysteries of the White Terror era perpetrated by the KMT government, including the deaths of Chen Wen-cheng and those of Lin I-hsiung's family members.

"The DPP has done nothing to solve the Chen and Lin cases during the seven years it has been in power. And now it is attacking me for wanting to investigate the cases anew," Ma said in Taitung County yesterday.

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