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.