Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday said the party would proceed cautiously in response to the indictment of DPP Chiayi County Commissioner Helen Chang (張花冠) for corruption because the prosecutorial authority has made mistakes in the past in cases involving pan-green politicians.
Su made the remarks in response to media inquiries on how the party would discipline Chang, who was indicted on corruption and bribery charges on Friday.
Saying the DPP is against corruption, Su said that in the past, if a party member was indicted for corruption charges, their membership would be suspended and the individual could be expelled from the party.
However, in recent years, there has been at least 10 DPP politicians, including former National Security Council secretary-general Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) and former Nantou County commissioner Peng Pai-hsien (彭百顯), who were indicted for corruption and were “tortured” by long judicial procedures before they were eventually acquitted, he said.
“Even if the court agreed to compensate Chiou, for his wrongful detention, the DPP does not know how to make it up to Chiou,” Su added.
Chiou was alleged to have defrauded the government of US$500,000 in secret diplomatic funds used to promote diplomatic relations.
The party would therefore deal with Chang’s case cautiously after reading the indictment documents and information about the case, he said.
Former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed a similar view at a separate setting yesterday, saying that former DPP Chiayi County commissioner Chen Ming-wen (陳明文) and Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬) were indicted for corruption charges, but both were found not guilty in final verdicts.
Tsai added that she does not rule out that political motivations may have been a factor in Chang’s indictment.
Chang and her sister, Chang Ying-chi (張瑛姬), were indicted by Kaohsiung prosecutors on charges of corruption, violating the Government Procurement Act (政府採購法) and leaking confidential information in three separate cases.
The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office said it suspected that Helen Chang and Chang Ying-chi received more than NT$7 million (US$240,000) from their involvement in the cases.