Fri, Oct 17, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Chen Shui-bian files suit against political pundit

DUMMY ACCOUNTS The former president also rebutted allegations he used his bodyguards to channel funds abroad, and pointed to Lee Teng-hui

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday filed a defamation lawsuit against a political commentator, who claimed that Chen deposited more than NT$30 billion (US$926 million) in Japan.

Dismissing Yao Li-ming’s (姚立明) allegations as “preposterous,” the statement issued by Chen’s office said that Yao, a professor of administrative management at Chinese Culture University, should have been careful in his words and deeds instead of making groundless accusations and damaging Chen’s reputation and social status.

Yao claimed during a TV talk show on Monday that he had learned through “official channels” that Chen had deposited more than NT$30 billion in Japan.

The statement urged prosecutors to launch an investigation into the matter so they can help correct any public misinformation and defend Chen’s rights.

Yao said yesterday that Chen’s legal action would not only give him an opportunity to tell the court what happened, but also offered the court a chance to find out whether Chen had hidden deposits overseas.

Yao said he has testimony from witnesses and evidence to substantiate his claim and would be happy to testify in court.

Speaking late last night, Chen dismissed the allegation as ridiculous, saying he would commit seppuku if he were found to have NT$30 billion in Japan.

In related news, Chen’s office yesterday rebutted media reports that he used three of his bodyguards as figureheads for money laundering. The reports also alleged that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) used two other bodyguards to wire more than NT$1.5 billion abroad.

Chen’s office issued a statement asking the Special Investigation Panel to provide correct information on the three bodyguards in question — Cheng Kuang-lin (鄭光麟), Liao Ching-sung (廖青松) and Lee Chih-chung (李志中).

The trio did not serve Chen during his presidency, the statement said. Neither did they have any financial relationship with Chen and his family nor did they serve as figureheads to facilitate money laundering, it said.

As for the two other bodyguards — Chen Kuo-sheng (陳國勝) and Lee Chung-jen (李忠仁) — Chen’s office said that a record of the prosecutors’ interview of Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英), the former chairman of China Development Industrial Bank, during their investigation into the Zanadau scandal in 2003 showed that Chen Kuo-sheng and Lee Chung-jen served as figureheads for Lee Teng-hui.

Liu was convicted of his involvement in the case in which a woman accused him of accepting money in return for his help in securing bank financing.

The statement said that judicial investigation found that more than NT$1.5 billion had been wired overseas between 1995 and 2001 using the two guards’ accounts.

However, prosecutors did not pursue this part of the case, the statement said, adding that they suspected prosecutors did it deliberately.

Liu had also served as the unofficial treasurer of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and was a close friend of Lee Teng-hui. He is widely thought to have had absolute control over the KMT’s assets during Lee Teng-hui’s presidency.

Later yesterday Lee Teng-hui’s office yesterday issued a statement, denying that Chen Kuo-sheng and Lee Chung-jen were his bodyguards.

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