Fri, Feb 01, 2008 - Page 4 News List

319 Shooting Truth panel releases report on probe

MORE TIME The committee called on the legislature to empower it to continue its investigation and asked it to impeach any officials who do not cooperate with it

STAFF WRITER

The 319 Shooting Truth Investiga-tion Special Committee yesterday concluded its investigation into the assassination attempt on President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) on the eve of the 2004 presidential election, raising questions about whether the shooting was a staged event.

"We have compared all of the evidence and clues through interviews and reconstructed the scene. Although the truth of the event remains unclear, the `truth' the government publicized and the evidence don't match," committee convener Wang Ching-feng (王清峰) told reporters.

The partisan committee's final report raised questions regarding the authenticity of the bullets and the gun seized by the police, saying that ballistic tests did not match the location where the bullets were found.

The report also suggested that Chen Yi-hsiung (陳義雄), whom the authorities identified as the shooter, was murdered instead of committing suicide when he was found dead 10 days after the incident.

The shooting happened during an afternoon motorcade by Chen and Lu in Tainan on March 19, 2004, one day before the presidential poll. Chen and Lu, standing in a Jeep, were both shot.

The case was later closed by authorities after they identified the shooter as Chen Yi-hsiung, whom they described as a lonely, disturbed man who blamed his financial problems on the president.

After initially backing the conclusion that Chen Yi-hsiung was the shooter, members of his family later raised questions concerning his death and in a press conference organized by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in 2004, accused police of forcing them into giving false testimony.

The committee was then convened by the pan-blue dominated legislature to probe the incident.

The organization of the committee was later ruled unconstitutional by the Council of Grand Justices in December 2004.

Committee members completed their terms yesterday.

Wang told the press conference that the legislature should pass a law empowering the committee to continue with its probe. The legislature should also impeach any government officials who refuse to cooperate with the investigation.

She called on the Supreme Prosecutors Office to reopen the investigation into the shooting and Chen Yi-hsiung's death.

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