Wed, Jan 07, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Prosecutors rebut report about Chen’s physician

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Special Investigation Panel (SIP) of the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office yesterday rebutted allegations that the former first family’s physician, Huang Fang-yen (黃芳彥) was a defendant in the alleged money-laundering case involving the family and would soon return to Taiwan to testify against others.

“He [Huang] has not contacted us. Besides, he is still only a witness in the case,” SIP Spokesman Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南) said.

Chen was approached for comment yesterday after the Chinese-language China Times yesterday reported that through State Public Prosecutor-General Chen Tsung-ming’s (陳聰明) connections, Huang had promised the SIP to return soon and testify against “other defendants” in the money laundering case.

Chen said rumors like this were complicating investigations.

“We will not confirm untrue stories,” he said. “These kinds of stories have seriously hampered our progress.”

Chen said Huang would have to be a defendant in the case to testify against “other defendants,” yet Huang remained a witness.

Chen said SIP prosecutors had confiscated NT$10 million (US$300,000) in cash from Huang’s office on Dec. 16 last year.

Prosecutors were trying to figure out who the money belonged to and whether it was secured through illegal means. Prosecutors have yet to summons Huang, he said.

Meanwhile, after filing an appeal on Monday against his detention, former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) lawyers yesterday submitted an attachment with additional arguments to the High Court.

Lawyer Shih Yi-ling (石宜琳) said SIP prosecutors were not authorized to file a detention request against a defendant once the defendant had been indicted and transferred to the court.

In addition, Shih said the Taipei District Court’s merger of the cases concerning the former president had violated procedures.

Also yesterday, the Taipei District Court turned down the lawyers’ request for a change in judges.

Taipei District Court Spokesman Huang Chun-ming (黃俊明) said the request to remove a judge would be granted only when there is evidence that the judge may be biased because of a close or improper relationship with either prosecutors or defense lawyers.

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