Sun, Jan 25, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Ma pledges ‘defensive’ lawsuits

‘MUDSLINGING’:Long-term presidential aide Kang Bing-cheng also promised to take on ‘false’ accusers as rumors of an illicit NT$200 million donation refuse to die

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) plans to take legal action against anyone who alleges that he has accepted illicit political donations, the Presidential Office said yesterday, one day after saying that Ma would sue Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) and political commentator Chen Min-feng (陳敏鳳) over such statements.

Ma filed criminal and civil lawsuits against radio host Clara Chou (周玉蔻) on Dec. 30 last year after she said that he received a NT$200 million (US$6.4 million) under-the-table donation from Ting Hsin International Group (頂新國際集團) during his 2012 re-election campaign.

The office on Friday released a statement saying that the president would appoint lawyers to take legal action against Tuan and Chen this week to “defend his reputation and send a correct message to society.”

“Chen has continued to spread rumors and hints with his fictional stories that the president accepted illegal political donations even after the office made clarifications; Tuan has also made the same false accusation against the president,” Presidential Office spokeswoman Ma Wei-kuo (馬瑋國) said.

Ma Wei-kuo added that Presidential Office Director Kang Bing-cheng (康炳政) would also enlist lawyers to defend his reputation by pursuing legal action against people who make related “mudslinging and false accusations.”

Chen has said that at least 12 magnates from the telecommunications and electronics industries met in 2007 during Ma Ying-jeou’s initial presidential campaign and made the NT$200 million donation to the candidate, who — Chen added — handed the money over to one of his close aides.

“The aide has been around Ma for more than a decade, but is not been well-known to the public,” Chen wrote in an article in which she accused Ma of receiving the funding that was published by an online media outlet.

While Chen did not identify the aide, Yao Li-ming (姚立明), a political commentator and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) executive campaign director during last year’s elections, intimated on a television talk show that Kang is the alleged aide.

Kang has worked for Ma Ying-jeou since 1984 and was identified by Chinese-language Next Magazine in 2008 as the aide responsible for Ma’s funding, Yao said.

Yao also called on the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division to summon Kang for questioning, according to the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper).

After hearing of the reports, Tuan said: “To be sued by the president is the highest achievement in the realm of critique.”

Tuan has not stopped challenging the president’s clarifications, posting on Facebook yesterday: “A key point has so far been overlooked by all the reports and discussions, which is that while the Presidential Office has denied that any illicit donations were received, none of those named magnates has come up to deny giving the donations.”

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