Sun, Oct 28, 2007 - Page 3 News List

KMT defends the legitimacy of its media outlets sale

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday defended the legitimacy of its sale of three media outlets, including the Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC), and criticized the government for making what it said were groundless accusations about the sale.

"The KMT acquired all assets legally and all our asset deals were handled through the proper legal channels," KMT administration and management committee director-general Chang Che-shen (張哲琛) told a press conference at KMT headquarters yesterday.

"If there were illegal aspects to the sale, the prosecutors would look into it. But the Government Information Office is in no position to make accusations," he said.

RESPONSE

Chang's remarks were made in response to accusations by Government Information Office Minister Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) that former KMT chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had colluded with the China Times Group to fabricate the sale.

The KMT-owned Central Investment Co (中央投資公司) sold BCC, Central Motion Picture Co and China Television Co to China Times Group subsidiary Jungli Investment Co (榮麗投資公司) in 2005 for NT$9.3 billion (US$280.7 million).

The transaction was facilitated by Hua Hsia, an investment firm owned by the KMT.

The deal was later canceled because the China Times Group was unable to pay the amount in full.

Former BCC chairman Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康), who announced his resignation on Wednesday over "relentless government persecution," later purchased the company from Hua Hsia.

`FAKE'

Chang denied Hsieh's accusations that the sale was "fake" and that the KMT still owned the assets, insisting that the KMT had sold the companies following its promise to end operating private businesses and media outlets.

"We condemn the government for asking the KMT to divest itself of its assets while threatening potential buyers," Chang said.

Chang accused the government of oppressing the KMT and casting doubts on the sale.

He pledged to take legal action against the government if it continued to spread groundless rumors that damaged the party's reputation.

In response, Hsieh yesterday continued his criticism of the sales and urged potential buyers not to purchase the assets, which are under government investigation.

"The government has made great efforts to transform the justice system and we will watch the KMT's every move very closely," Hsieh said yesterday after attending an event in Taipei.

Hsieh also repeated his call on Ma and China Times Group chairman Albert Yu (余建新) to explain the details of the sale.

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