Sun, Nov 08, 2015 - Page 4 News List

SID slammed for closing probe

‘CRUDE’ WORK:Experts said the agency failed to follow leads and did not hear testimonies during its probe into allegations of foul play in Hung Hsiu-chu’s replacement

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu attends the founding of the alumni association for former students of the Department of Law at Chinese Culture University’s College of Law in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

Political pundits and legal experts criticized prosecutors over their decision to close the probe into possible breaches of election laws by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) during the withdrawal of Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) from the presidential race.

Political pundit Hu Chung-hsin (胡忠信) said the investigation by the Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office revealed that three NT$30 million (US$916,590) checks were made out to Hung, in addition to another NT$30 million check issued by the KMT.

With the amounts put together, top KMT officials have paid at least NT$120 million to Hung as a financial incentive for her replacement by KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) as the party’s presidential candidate, Hu said.

“The one check discovered by the SID was only the final installment of the total payment in exchange for Hung not to pursue her candidacy. The previous three checks were already given to her, but investigators did not look into her financial records to verify this,” Hu said.

“I have talked in public to reveal the KMT payments to Hung and my name was on the prosecutors’ indictment. However, the SID did not summon me to hear my testimony,” he added.

Aside from the NT$120 million that was alleged to be among the “exchange conditions,” Hu also said that Hung negotiated with top KMT officials to take over the legislative speaker job from Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and that Hung wanted the party to guarantee her a generous severance package.

Lawyer Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) said the SID’s probe was crude.

“They chose to believe that the NT$30 million check was a subsidy for the presidential election campaign. Legally and logically, this is difficult to justify. Chu’s actions constitute a breach of trust and he should be indicted on that offense,” Huang said.

Huang, a legal adviser for the Democratic Progressive Party, said the SID should have investigated Hung’s words that top KMT officials had presented offers to persuade her to quit the race.

Political analyst Yao Li-ming (姚立明) said there are numerous inconsistencies in public announcements by Chu and Hung throughout the KMT’s move to change its presidential candidate.

“At first Hung claimed that there were no names on the payee section of the NT$30 million check. Later, she said she was mistaken, because she did not see clearly,” Yao said.

“The SID should have conducted a lie detector test on Hung and should have checked her eyesight, but it did not,” he added.

Yao questioned the procedures followed by the SID on Oct. 21, when it summoned Chu for questioning at SID offices, once in the afternoon and once in the evening.

“That was not a normal judicial process for investigating a case. It seems the SID was colluding with Chu, working on their public statements,” Yao said.

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