Fri, Jun 26, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Clean Government Committee mullls Dome report action

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Taipei City Government’s Clean Government Committee is to reconsider where to send its Taipei Dome investigation request after it was rejected by the Ministry of Justice.

“The Clean Government Committee is to hold further discussions [on the city’s next steps],” Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said, adding that the city government is able to “block punches as they come.”

He declined to specify the next step the city would take, saying that it was necessary to respect the independence of the committee, which was established early this year to investigate controversial city development projects.

The city government had reported the Taipei Dome case to the Ministry of Justice, after a Clean Government Committee investigation into negotiations over the Taipei Dome’s build-operate-transfer (BOT) project accused former city finance commissioner Lee Sush-der (李述德) and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) — during his terms as Taipei mayor — of illegally profiting contractor the Farglory Group (遠雄集團).

The ministry yesterday officially rejected the city’s Wednesday referral, saying it was not responsible for handling specific lawsuits or investigating the executive responsibility of officials in other departments.

It said that the city should report the case to prosecutors or other judicial authorities, while also rejecting the city’s referral of the MeHAS City case.

The decision drew a strong response from Clean Government Committee members.

“Minister of Justice Luo Ying-shay (羅瑩雪) has proved that she is a useless minister who swallows cases,” committee member and lawyer Cheng Wen-lung (鄭文龍) said on Facebook.

He said that according to Control Yuan practice, the results of investigations are sent to the ministry, which then sends them on to relevant agencies for further investigation.

The ministry’s action shows that it could only “swallow” cases directed at the president and other high-ranking government officials, he said.

While the committee had followed the practice of the Control Yuan in referring the case to the Ministry of Justice, the ministry’s rejection was “expected” because it is not legally responsible to help the committee to determine which government agency should investigate the case, Department of Government Ethics Commissioner Liu Ming-wu (劉明武) said.

He said he would recommend that the committee refer its investigation results for the Dome case directly to the Agency Against Government Corruption — which has already opened an investigation.

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