Thu, Jan 07, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Wang says she was not pressured after approving fine

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Minister of Justice Wang Ching-feng (王清峰) yesterday denied receiving pressure from President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) after her ministry fined a pharmaceutical company linked to the president’s oldest sister.

The ministry fined China Chemical & Pharmaceutical Co (CCPC) NT$100 million (US$3 million) for failing to avoid a conflict of interest when selling drugs to Taipei City Municipal Hospital from 2001 to 2004.

Ma Yi-nan (馬以南), Ma’s older sister, was deputy manager of the company at the time of the sale, while Ma Ying-jeou was Taipei mayor.

The ministry issued the fine to the company in February last year, but the company successfully appealed the case to the Executive Yuan, which asked the ministry to conduct a review of the case.

Wang last week approved the decision to uphold the original ruling and fine the company the same amount. Next Magazine reported that the Taipei City Government had been uncooperative during the ministry’s investigation and acted passively when the ministry asked for details of the sale.

Wang said yesterday that Taipei City’s Department of Government Ethics provided the information the ministry requested and denied that she had been pressured by the Ma administration.

“This is not a case about Ms Ma. We fined the company ... There was no pressure. Both the president and Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) did not say a word or ask me anything about the case,” she said yesterday after attending an event at Taipei City Hospital.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), who accompanied Wang on her visit to the hospital yesterday, also denied the report and said the city government cooperated with the ministry’s investigation.

The investigation found the city government purchased more than NT$90 million in pharmaceuticals from CCPC and another NT$50 million from a CCPC subsidiary.

The company violated the law by making business deals with the city government as Ma Yi-nan was part of Ma Ying-jeou’s family, a violation that results in a fine of one to three times the price of the deal.

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