Sat, Feb 21, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Prosecutors quiz witnesses on

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Several former top financial officials have been questioned by prosecutors as witnesses to alleged irregularities in some of the bank mergers during former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) second term, prosecutors said yesterday.

The Supreme Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Investigation Panel (SIP) said on Wednesday that former first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) had given a list to prosecutors that detailed political donations totaling NT$1.21 billion (US$35 million) offered by 20 businesspeople to former president Chen.

SIP Spokesman Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南) said prosecutors suspected some of the donations from bank owners might be related to the bank mergers program, and prosecutors had interviewed former high-level financial officers to better understand the matter.

Chen Yun-nan said prosecutors questioned former Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) chairman Hu Sheng-cheng (胡勝正) and former National Security Council consultant Chen Yung-cheng (陳永誠) as witnesses yesterday, while Central Bank Governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南) asked for a postponement because he needed to go to the legislature.

Prosecutors interviewed former vice premier Wu Rong-i (吳榮義) and former minister of finance Lin Chuan (林全) as witnesses on Thursday, Chen Yun-nan said.

The five were responsible for the banking restructuring program in 2005, Chen Yun-nan said. He did not reveal the content of the interviews.

The prosecutors are still investigating allegations that the former president and his wife received bribes from several banks in exchange for favors during the former president’s second financial reform program.

The former first couple were indicted for embezzling NT$104 million from the president’s special discretionary fund during his presidency from 2000 to last year. They also are accused of taking bribes of NT$300 million in connection with a land procurement deal and another NT$90.93 million in kickbacks to help a contractor win the tender for a government construction project.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA

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