Wed, Apr 18, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Emile Sheng questioned over expensive musical

Staff writer, with CNA

Former Council for Cultural Affairs minister Emile Sheng (盛治仁) was summoned yesterday by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office to provide further information on a pending case over a costly musical held last year. Sheng arrived at the prosecutors’ office in the morning and was questioned by Hsiao Fang-chou (蕭方舟), the prosecutor responsible for the case.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) filed a complaint against Sheng with prosecutors in November last year for alledgedly limiting the number of eligible bidders for a musical held during the nation’s centennial celebrations in October last year. The party accused him of rigging the tender to benefit artists close to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and of spending extravagantly on the production. The DPP asked prosecutors to determine whether Sheng should be indicted on criminal charges.

The government spent NT$215 million (US$7.15 million) on the production, called Dreamers (夢想家), which ran for two nights. DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said the money could have funded performances in Taiwan for two years. The accusations resulted in Sheng’s resignation in November last year.

“I don’t think I have done anything wrong here, and I hope the judicial system will confirm my innocence,” Sheng said during a break in questioning.

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