Prosecutors slam report
The Supreme Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Investigation Panel (SIP) yesterday complained about unsubstantiated reports in the press about the case against former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). “I told reporters last month that there is no evidence to prove that former president Chen Shui-bian had taken any cash by aircraft during his visits to Taiwan’s allies. I do not understand why such a story was still published today,” SIP spokesman Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南) said. Chen made the remarks in response to a Chinese-language China Times report yesterday that said “the SIP discovered sufficient evidence” to prove that the former president had transported US$5 million, originally from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Palau on board a China Airlines’ plane during a trip in 2006. “Since the beginning of the investigation, we have not discovered any evidence to prove that allegation and we have not told any reporter that we have,” Chen Yun-nan said.
WWII graves located
Taiwan’s representative office in Papua New Guinea has located graves that it believes to be those of Republic of China (ROC) soldiers who died in World War II while they were enslaved by the Japanese army on the Pacific island, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Lee Tsung-fen (李宗芬), deputy-head of the ministry’s Department of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, said that local Chinese compatriots said the graves at Rabaul were first discovered by an Australian pilot. It is thought that more than 1,600 ROC soldiers were captured by the Japanese and sent to Papua New Guinea camp during the war. Many of the soldiers reportedly either died in the camp or on the way to it. Lee yesterday said the Ministry of National Defense would send officials to the island to ascertain the identities of those in the graves, adding that the ministry would decide whether to transport the remains back to Taiwan after consulting with the relatives of the men.
Canadian to begin walk
Canadian Jean Beliveau, who is in the eighth year of his 12-year walk around the world to promote “peace and non-violence to the profit of the children of the world,” arrived in Taiwan on Sunday. The 53-year-old Beliveau will begin his walk from the northern tip of the nation to the south on Saturday and will be accompanied by Lin Ming-te (林明德), who has walked around the nation five times to promote environmental protection. Beliveau said yesterday at a press conference that while he doesn’t claim to have changed the world, he hopes to inject the brief thought of world peace in people he meets. The pair said they welcome anyone who wishes to join their 570km walk through Taiwan.
Chen, Lu film opens today
A film about the election-eve gun attack on former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) will debut this week, when it is expected to reignite debate about the controversial 2004 shooting incident. The Hong Kong action movie Ballistic uses a fictional plot to revisit the March 19 assassination attempt, when Chen and Lu were shot and slightly injured during a campaign rally in Taichung. “The director thought this incident was really one of a kind, with a very dramatic element,” film producer Lin Shun-kuo said. “But it’s only an approximation of the incident, not totally consistent with what happened.