Chen, Wu miss court date
Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and his wife, Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), did not show up for a hearing yesterday in which the pair were summoned as witnesses. The Taiwan High Court asked the pair to testify in a slander case that Chen filed against Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅). The high court said yesterday it would summon the pair again. In February 2000, Chiu, a campaign spokesman for independent presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜), accused Wu of possessing NT$75 million (US$2.4 million) in investments and linked her fortune to a stock market speculator nicknamed “Ah Ting” (阿丁). Chen’s camp denied the charges and accused Chiu of violating the Election and Recall Law.
Premier to give report
Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) will deliver his first administrative report at the Legislative Yuan on Friday and Tuesday next week, a statement issued by the legislature said yesterday. The legislature’s Procedure Committee completed the agenda yesterday for the plenary sessions on the same days and invited Liu to deliver his report and answer questions from lawmakers. The committee also included an amendment to a law governing the behavior of legislators. Proposed by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wong Chin-chu (翁金珠), the measure would specify how lawmakers who hold foreign citizenship would be disciplined. If the amendment passes, violators will be removed from office and have to return all earnings received while in office.
MOFA names new staff
Sun Ta-cheng (孫大成), head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MOFA) Central Taiwan Office, has been named the new ambassador to Guatemala in the first wave of diplomatic personnel reshuffles under new Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco Ou (歐鴻鍊), the ministry announced yesterday. Ou served as the representative to Guatemala before being appointed head of the ministry earlier this month. Sun was a deputy division chief and then division chief in Taiwan’s representative office in the US before taking over as director of MOFA’s Department of General Affairs. Sun was Taiwan’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic and then top representative to Chile before he was appointed to head the Central Taiwan Office in January. Meanwhile, Wu Chien-kuo (吳建國), a former deputy representative to Thailand, has been named the new deputy director of the ministry’s NGO Affairs Committee, replacing Vanessa Shih (史亞平), who was appointed Government Information Office head.
Chen weighs in on secrets
Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday said that whether President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) could declassify the documents relating to his controversial “state affairs fund” and listed by him as confidential was a constitutional issue. Chen issued a statement saying that he identified those documents as classified during his presidency and the courts and prosecutors have asked Ma to declassify them. However, whether the Presidential Office or prosecutors have the right to challenge the presidential authority is a dilemma, Chen said, and it is a constitutional issue whether the new president has the right to declassify documents listed as confidential by previous presidents. Chen said it would be an overt violation of the principle of separation of powers if the judiciary intervened in presidential authority.