Sun, Dec 28, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Lee Teng-hui welcomes money laundering probe

By Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) yesterday said he had nothing to hide and welcomed the Special Investigation Panel (SIP) of the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office to investigate his records.

Lee made the remarks on his way to Chiayi City to attend a Friends of Lee event yesterday. He was approached by reporters for comment on the money-laundering allegation against him.

On Friday, SIP Spokesman Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南) said his office was looking into allegations that Lee laundered more than NT$1.6 billion (US$48 million) during his time in office. In response to press inquiries, Chen said the probe was prompted by a tip-off from former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

However, one of Chen Shui-bian’s attorneys, Shih Yi-ling (石宜琳), later that day said his client had nothing to do with the probe into Lee’s financial dealings and that the rumor was “probably started by some opportunistic politicians.”

Lin Chih-chia (林志嘉), secretary-general of the Taiwan Solidarity Union, of which Lee is the spiritual leader, has urged prosecutors to clear Lee’s reputation as soon as possible by conducting a thorough investigation.

Lee served as Taiwan’s president from 1988 to 2000 and was succeeded by Chen Shui-bian, who stepped down this year.

Chen Shui-bian was indicted on Dec. 12 on charges of embezzling government funds and laundering money.

The 86-year-old Lee, described by media as sharing a father-son relationship with Chen Shui-bian, said yesterday that Chen Shui-bian was “never like a son to me.”

“It would be terrible if I had a bad son like him,” Lee said, adding that he never viewed Chen as a son. “[Chen] is trying to smear others in the hopes of whitening himself. I sleep fine at night.”

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER

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