Quanta Computer (廣達) chairman Barry Lam (林百里) yesterday told judges that he did not give NT$100 million (US$3 million) to the former first family in return for a promise from former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) that Lam could build a new factory in Taoyuan County.
“I never talked to former first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) or asked her friend Tsai Ming-che (蔡銘哲) to wire the alleged NT$100 million to her as a bribe,” Lam told the Taipei District Court yesterday morning, when judges summoned him to confront Chen over allegations he paid NT$100 million as a bribe.
Lam also said that he never talked to Taiwan Cement Corp chairman Leslie Koo (辜成允) about the land deal, although Koo was at the time asking the former first family for help in selling the land in Lungtan Township.
“The price Koo was asking was too expensive,” Lam said.
When prosecutors asked him how much, Lam said that he couldn’t remember.
Lam was summoned because he was implicated in a statement former Chinatrust Financial Holding Co vice chairman Jeffrey Koo Jr (辜仲諒) made to the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office’s Special Investigative Panel (SIP).
Koo Jr told SIP prosecutors that Wu once told him that Lam had “asked for help” in trying to buy the land and build a new factory in Lungtan. During the interview with the SIP, Koo Jr also told prosecutors that, “the former first lady would have accepted bribes if she promised to help.”
The hearing lasted for almost three hours. Chen made no comments until the last few minutes.
He told judges that he was the president so it would be natural for him to take an interest in the deal, but he did not accept any bribes.
“I think Lam’s statement today says it all,” Chen said.
Meanwhile, former Taipei Financial Center Corp chairwoman Diana Chen (陳敏薰) yesterday contradicted her statement to the SIP and said she gave NT$10 million to former first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) as a political donation for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
“I was discriminated against when I was studying in the US so I always wanted to do something for Taiwan,” Diana Chen said.
“As a result, I donated NT$10 million to the DPP. As Wu was the then-DPP chairman’s wife, I forwarded the money to her,” Diana Chen told the Taipei District Court yesterday afternoon.
She said she had known Wu for about five or six years and had been to the presidential residence several times, but she did not know Chen Shui-bian and had never met him. She also said that Wu never asked her for any money.
She forwarded the NT$10 million to Wu in 2004.
Diana Chen said that Wu told her the money would be forwarded to the DPP.
Judges asked Diana Chen whether Wu promised her the presidency of Grand Cathay Securities Corp (大華證券) in return for her donation, Chen said that she never asked for such a favor and Wu had not made such a promise.
In addition, Diana Chen said that she did not ask Wu to issue a receipt for the money as “it was not the polite thing to do.”
“I thought Wu would write me a receipt later, but she did not,” Diana Chen said.
SIP Prosecutor Lin Cher-hui asked Diana Chen why she had previously said that the NT$10 million was for Wu in return for the presidency of Grand Cathay. Chen replied that she was too nervous during the questioning.
Lin said that prosecutors had discovered that the NT$10 million was wired to a foreign bank account, instead of being forwarded to the DPP.