Sat, Dec 19, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Taipei prosecutors charge Clara Chou with defamation

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Taipei prosecutors have filed charges against media personality Clara Chou (周玉蔻) of defamation and making accusations without concrete evidence in connection with allegations she made last year that Ting Hsin International Group (頂新國際集團) had made illegal political donations to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office wrapped up its investigation into the case by issuing a news release to announce the indictment.

The office said there were records of Chou disseminating defaming statements in writing, appearances on television talk shows and other media appearances on 12 occasions between Dec. 22 and Dec. 26 last year.

Chou said she would not comment on the indictments, although she posted “Ha, Ha, Ha” on Facebook.

Chou’s allegations came amid a public furor over a tainted food scandal involving Ting Hsin International Group after the company was found to use adulterated ingredients in its oil products.

Chou said she had evidence that Ma had received NT$200 million (US$6 million at current exchange rates) in an off-the-books political donation from the Wei (魏) brothers, owners of Ting Hsin group.

She said Ma, by accepting the money, had become a “guardian protector” for the Ting Hsin group.

“The Ma administration, including Ma himself, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus and KMT legislators were obvious in their efforts to protect Ting Hsin and shield the company from prosecution,” she said at the time.

Chou accused former Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) of receiving benefits from Ting Hsin, along with allegations that Senhwa Biosciences chairman Benny Hu (胡定吾), a friend of Ma’s, had acted as a middleman in the NT$200 million donation.

Hu is also a board member of Taipei Financial Center Corp, the firm that operates Taipei 101.

Chou also alleged that Hon Hai Group founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) made a secret donation of NT$300 million to KMT Taipei mayoral candidate Sean Lien (連勝文) last year.

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