Tue, Oct 23, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Chief prosecutor outlines

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

State Public Prosecutor-General Chen Tsung-ming (陳聰明) announced a set of guidelines yesterday for prosecutors' investigating into special allowance funds cases.

The guidelines will help prosecutors working on the numerous cases concerning special allowance funds to avoid differences in how the cases are handled and preempt controversy over probes, Chen told the legislature's Judiciary Committee.

Chen said for the portion of special allowance funds that require no accounting oversight, prosecutors would investigate whether the expenditures were used for public purposes, whether the officials' assets had increased by an unusual amount during their terms of office and whether there was solid evidence that the officials had used the funds for personal reasons.

For the portion of the allowances that do require accounting oversight, Chen said prosecutors would seek to determine whether receipts were received for funds spent on public affairs and whether the accounting offices had disbursed funds in the amounts of the receipts.

However, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) and his colleagues complained during yesterday's committee meeting that the prosecutors who investigated KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) handling of his special allowance when he was Taipei mayor examined the portion of the allowance that does not require accounting oversight, while the prosecutors probing President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) "state affairs fund" case did not touch on the portion of the presidential funding that does not have independent accounting oversight.

Several people have already been indicted in connection with the alleged abuse of special allowance funds.

Last year, prosecutors indicted first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) on corruption and forgery charges in connection with the handling of her husband's "state affairs fund."

In February, Taipei prosecutors indicted Ma on charges of embezzling NT$11 million (US$333,000) from his special mayoral allowance while Taipei mayor.

Ma was found not guilty of the charges in the first trial.

The Supreme Prosecutors' Office last month indicted Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Yu Shyi-kun and National Security Council Secretary-General Mark Chen (陳唐山) on suspicion of misusing their special allowance funds.

More than 50 individuals, including top level politicians and chiefs of courts and prosecutors' office nationwide, are facing investigations into their use of special allowance funds.

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