Wed, Jul 01, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Cashiers used bosses’ seals to cash claims, court told

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former director-general of the Presidential Office’s accounting department Fon Shui-lin (馮瑞麟) yesterday testified that some of the signed approvals on reimbursement slips for the presidential “state affairs fund” had not been personally approved by presidential aides.

Presiding Judge Tsai Shou-hsun (蔡守訓) scheduled a hearing ­yesterday to question Fon about the reimbursement process used to allocate the presidential “state affairs fund,” a government fund earmarked for official purposes to be used at the president’s discretion.

Former Presidential Office director Lin Teh-hsun (林德訓) and former Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Ma Yung-cheng (馬永成) are accused of helping former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) embezzle money from the fund while he was in office.

Fon said special circumstances had made it difficult for the accounting department to use “normal procedures” to approve and reimburse expenses from the fund.

When Richard Lee (李深琛), the defense attorney for Ma and Lin, showed Fon reimbursement slips bearing former presidential aides’ seals, Fon said that although it was “regrettable,” the Presidential Office’s cashiers often used the aides’ seals to approve expenses to speed up the reimbursement process.

Fon said that although normal accounting procedure required presidential aides to examine reimbursement slips and approve them by stamping them with their official seal, cashiers often took the seals and stamped documents themselves for the sake of convenience or to avoid bothering their superiors with petty details.

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