Tue, Nov 10, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Premier ready to sue DPP’s Lee

TO COURT The Cabinet spokesman said Lee Wen-chung should prove his claims about the premier having criminal links or Wu Den-yih would file a lawsuit today

By Flora Wang, Jenny W. hsu and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Executive Yuan Spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) yesterday said Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) would sue the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) candidate for Nantou County commissioner, Lee Wen-chung (李文忠), if Lee failed to substantiate allegations against Wu by midnight last night.

Lee said that Wu, Chiang Chin-liang (江欽良) — a convicted felon on parole — and Nantou County Commissioner Lee Chao-ching (李朝卿) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) were on a trip together to Bali, Indonesia, last December to settle the distribution of profits from the local gravel trade as well as select a new Nantou County Council speaker and vice speaker.

Su said Lee should prove his claims or apologize to the premier, adding that Wu would file a lawsuit today if Lee failed to produce evidence.

Wu has been on the defensive since Next Magazine published a story last Wednesday suggesting that he had ties to Chiang. Chiang, now chairman of the Tsaoyetun Night Market Association in Tsaotun Township (草屯), was convicted of murder in two separate cases: the slaying of a Changhua gangster and a Nantou County council member in 1983 and 1985 respectively.

Last Thursday, Wu denied the allegations that he was involved in helping Chiang obtain permission to meet gangster Kuo Ping-hui (郭平輝) in prison in January. Kuo was the mastermind behind an infamous staged threat that was televised in 2007.

But Wu called a press conference the next day to concede that the meeting was arranged with his assistance after the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) published a report citing Wu Cheng-po (吳正博), warden of the Taichung prison where Kuo is incarcerated, that the meeting was arranged by Wu in his capacity as lawmaker.

Wu’s alleged ties to Chiang and the gravel trade continued to draw attention yesterday as records of donations to Wu were made public.

The Control Yuan Gazette reported that Wu accepted a non-cash donation of NT$100,000 from Chiang and NT$200,000 in cash from the Sung Ye gravel company during his most recent legislative campaign in Nantou County.

In response, Wu yesterday said the non-cash donation referred to rental fees saved when Chiang let him hold a campaign rally free of charge next to the night market Chiang managed.

“The fact that I registered [this as a] donation proves two things,” Wu said. “First, I was a law-abiding candidate, as I kept records of all donations to my campaign down to the last details. Second, there is nothing ... to hide.”

Wu said the gravel company also made a donation of NT$300,000 to Lin Yun-sheng (林耘生), his DPP rival in the election.

Meanwhile, Lee Wen-chung yesterday said he was not afraid of a lawsuit, adding that a “secret witness” was prepared to testify against Wu in a closed-door hearing.

At a separate setting yesterday, DPP Legislator William Lai (賴清德) said Wu had a track record of lying and close links to crime syndicates that made him unfit for his position.

“Wu used to be a habitual liar and that’s why he was nicknamed ‘The Lying Mayor’ when he governed Kaohsiung City,” Lai told reporters. “When he became the premier, we urged him to change his ways, but clearly he hasn’t.”

Lai demanded that Wu vacate his office immediately.

DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Wu was engaging in “political gambling” by telling the public that he would step down only if Lee Wen-chung could produce evidence.

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