After being questioned by Taipei prosecutors yesterday over an alleged cover-up of an H5N2 avian flu outbreak, former Council of Agriculture minister Chen Wu-hsiung (陳武雄) told the media that there had been no cover-up and stressed that everything had been conducted in line with administrative procedures.
Chen also said that he was the “big boss” referred to in a recording released by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of a meeting held on Feb. 1 to discuss the risks of an H5N2 bird flu outbreak in Fangyuan Township (芳苑), Changhua County, which was first reported on Dec. 27.
As part of an investigation into whether an alleged cover-up of an H5N2 avian flu outbreak took place, Taipei prosecutors yesterday also summoned former Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine director Hsu Tien-lai (許天來) for questioning.
Prosecutors said Chen was questioned as a witness.
Prosecutors are investigating a claim of malfeasance against Hsu over the alleged concealment of the outbreak in January and reporting the high-risk outbreak as a low-risk incident. Several other senior officials may also be investigated.
DPP legislators have said that a recording from the meeting includes Hsu saying that the notification of the outbreak should be postponed until “after the boss steps down” because “it is not urgent.”
Prosecutors said they had also obtained the minutes from the Feb. 1 meeting.
According to the DPP legislators, Hsu also said that “the big boss has not agreed with it,” and “if it eventually takes compensation, we would need approval from the Executive Yuan.”
They added that the “it” Hsu mentioned could be a plan to compensate farmers whose chickens have to be culled because of the flu outbreak.
Before Chen’s statement that the “big boss” was him, DPP lawmakers said that it also could have been former premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) or President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), and that the cover-up could have been an attempt to benefit Ma’s re-election campaign.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung