Wed, Jan 09, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Man says he made false statement in Wu Den-yih case

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A man claiming to be a former aide of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Secretary-General Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday "confessed" to having falsified a statement to help Wu avoid a potential jail sentence in a 1999 slander case.

Hu Yao-jen (胡耀仁) made the comments during a press conference yesterday morning at the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) legislative caucus office, in the company of DPP legislators Hsieh Hsin-ni (謝欣霓) and Lin Yun-sheng (林耘生), Wu's rival in Nantou County's first district.

Hu said he would turn himself in to prosecutors because he had forged the statement almost 10 years ago so that Wu could walk out of the courtroom a free man.

"I regret what I did and feel sorry about it. So I decided to step forward, admit everything and tell the truth," Hu said.

MAYORAL POLL

Hu's remarks referred to events during the 1998 Kaohsiung mayoral election, when Wu was competing against then-DPP Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷).

Hu says he was head of Wu's advertising team.

Just a few days prior to the election day, Wu's campaign team invited TV entertainer Pai Ping-ping (白冰冰) to record a TV commercial attacking Hsieh.

Pai was upset with Hsieh following the murder in 1997 of her daughter Pai Hsiao-yen (白曉燕), because Hsieh, in a bid to encourage the suspects to turn themselves in, had offered to defend them for free.

In the TV commercial, Pai said that "Frank Hsieh is not a good man. He is not a bad man, either, because he is not human."

SLANDER

Hsieh filed a slander suit in 1999 against Wu. Kaohsiung District Court judges sentenced Wu to 10 months in jail, but Taiwan High Court judges ruled that Wu was innocent, with the key statement coming from Hu, who told judges that Wu had nothing to do with the commercial and was unaware of it. He said it had been the campaign team's idea.

After admitting forging the statement, Wu now faces a potential seven-year sentence.

"I was young. When Wu asked me to falsify my statement, I did as he said," Hu said. "The truth is that he watched and approved the entire Pai Ping-ping video before the clip was aired."

Later yesterday, Wu told a press conference in Nantou that Hu was helping his rival to "discredit" him because Hu owes Wu's sister-in-law NT$1 million (US$31,000).

Wu said that Hu was never his assistant or an office staffer.

Additional reporting by Flora Wang

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