Fri, Jan 30, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Ma files lawsuits against lawmaker, critic

EVIDENCE DEMANDED:Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tuan Yi-kang asked Ma’s lawyer to show what is wrong with accusations over money given to the president

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou’s attorney Hung Wen-jun speaks to reporters outside the Taipei District Court yesterday.

Photo: CNA

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday filed lawsuits against Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) and political commentator Chen Min-feng (陳敏鳳) for accusations the pair made about Ma accepting off-the-books donations.

Ma’s attorney Hung Wen-jun (洪文浚) filed the civil lawsuits with the Taipei District Court, saying that the lawsuit sought from each of them pay NT$10 million (US$317,300) for damage done to Ma’s reputation and that they publish an apology in four major local newspapers.

Ma had no choice but to take legal actions against Tuan and Chen, because clarifications issued by the president had not stopped the spread of their false allegations, Hung said.

Chen on Jan. 15 said that at least 12 magnates from the telecommunications and electronics industries in 2007 collectively offered Ma NT$200 million while Ma was campaigning ahead of the 2008 presidential election.

Chen said the money went to Ma through one of the president’s long-term aides, who was later said to be Kang Bing-cheng (康炳政), director of the president’s office.

The contributors included Taiwan Memory Co (台灣記憶體公司) chairman John Hsuan (宣明智), then-First International Telecom Corp (大眾電信) president Charlie Wu (吳清源), Siliconware Precision Industries Co (矽品精密) chairman Bough Lin (林文伯) and Taiwan Fortune of Fortune Venture Investment Group (富鑫創投) managing partner James Chew (邱羅火), among others.

Tuan accused Ma of illicitly accepted NT$100 million from a listed company in the run-up to the 2008 election, adding that the money helped the company facilitate its acquisition of a state-owned corporation of historical significance.

Hung also represented Kang in filing a lawsuit against Chinese-language weekly Business Today and its reporters who wrote a story about his role in the donations reportedly made to Ma, saying that Kang demand NT$3 million in compensation for damaging his reputation and an apology printed in newspapers.

Later yesterday, Chen said: “What the media is supposed to do is to supervise people in power. That’s what I have been doing.”

“If a president accepts off-the-books donations, it is a matter open to public scrutiny,” she said.

Tuan challenged Hung to explain in detail why the lawyer dismissed his allegation as false.

“Did I get the value of the donation wrong? Did I get the timing wrong? Or is the whole thing wrong? [Despite the denials made by Ma,] none of the people named have denied making the donations. Is that not strange?” Tuan said.

Late last month, Ma sued radio host Clara Chou (周玉蔻) for defamation after Chou accused him and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of accepting a political donation worth NT$200 million from Ting Hsin International Group (頂新國際) during his re-election campaign in 2012.

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