Tue, May 19, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Ma rejects Dome graft allegations

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Taipei City Government allegations of illegal profiteering are “cooked-up charges” based on a “strained interpretation” of the facts, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said at a news conference yesterday.

Ma questioned the methods of the city’s Clean Government Committee, which has said that Ma, while Taipei mayor, agreed to Taipei Dome contract terms allowing Farglory Land Development Co (遠雄建設) to rake in illegal profits.

“I feel [the committee] first came to a conclusion and then looked for evidence,” Ma said, adding that people related to the case would demonstrate that there had been no illegal activity in each instance cited by the city.

Ma also responded to remarks made by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) on Sunday challenging Ma to account for an alleged difference between his “real” and nominal campaign financing.

“There was absolutely nothing of this kind,” Ma said.

Ma also said that some of Ko’s comments demonstrate that Ko himself viewed some of the actions of the Clean Government Committee as inappropriate.

At a conference on the capital’s build-operate-transfer projects, Ko said that five projects being investigated should be referred to as “major cases” instead of as “major corruption cases.”

Ko yesterday said he would handle the case as soon as the city’s Department of Government Ethics sent him documents for approval.

He added the he could not stand the “nitpicking” over his wording in referring to city investigations.

“I do not see any difference between ‘five major cases,’ ‘five corruption cases,’ and ‘five strange cases,’” Ko said, comparing analysis of his word choice to the exegesis of ancient Chinese texts.

Meanwhile, former Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), said on Facebook Ko that should “find his conscience,” adding that Ko had chosen to “pick fights” to raise his stature.

Ko said Hau was “irritable,” and denied making malicious remarks about the former mayor.

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