Wed, Apr 27, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Academia Sinica’s Wong requests leave, Ma denies it

EVASIVE TACTIC?Ma said that it was ‘extremely inappropriate’ for Wong to ask to go on leave just as he was scheduled to report to the legislature

Staff writer, with CNA

Embattled Academia Sinica President Wong Chi-huey (翁啟惠) yesterday asked President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for a 28-day leave of absence, but his request was turned down.

Wong said he made the request in deference to judicial authorities investigating his role in the controversy over his daughter’s OBI Pharma shareholdings.

Wong is suspected of insider trading and corruption.

While the investigation is ongoing, “my absence from the job as head of the institute will facilitate its effective operations,” Wong said, recommending that Academia Sinica Vice President Wang Fan-sen (王汎森) take over during his leave of absence.

Ma turned down Wong’s request because he is scheduled to report to the legislature today.

“Approving your request for leave will bring up suspicions of trying to evade legislative oversight,” Ma was quoted by his spokesman as saying. “It is extremely inappropriate to ask for a long period of leave at this point in time.”

On Thursday last week, Wong was listed as a possible defendant and barred from leaving the country by prosecutors investigating insider trading allegations involving OBI Pharma.

Wong faces charges of corruption and breach of trust after being questioned that day by prosecutors along with 10 others, including OBI Pharma chairman Michael Chang (張念慈), another possible defendant in the case.

During a meeting with Ma on Monday, Wong expressed hope that he could be replaced within two weeks, an Academia Sinica spokesman said.

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