The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday urged President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to explain her ties with the business community, following the indictment of former Academia Sinica president Wong Chi-huey (翁啟惠) on corruption charges.
The Shilin District Prosecutors’ Office on Monday indicted Wong on charges of corruption and misconduct as a public servant, in a case that was exposed in February last year and involves the development of a cancer drug by biotech company OBI Pharma Inc (台灣浩鼎).
Speaking at a news conference in Taipei, KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director Hu Wen-chi (胡文琦) questioned the relationship between Tsai and Wong.
“When Tsai was embroiled in the Yu Chang Biologies case, Wong threw his support behind Tsai. Also, there were numerous rumors that Tsai initially intended to ask Wong to be her running mate in last year’s presidential election,” Hu said.
The Yu Chang Biologies case emerged in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election, when the KMT accused Tsai — the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate — of playing an improper role in the formation of Yu Chang Biologics Co (宇昌生技), now known as TaiMed Biologics Inc (中裕新藥).
Though the now-defunct Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division cleared Tsai of any wrongdoing in August 2012, the case is believed to be one of the main reasons behind Tsai’s election loss to then-president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
Categorizing Tsai as a descendant of a local dignitary, Hu said OBI Pharma apparently enjoyed close ties with Tsai’s family, as evidenced by Tsai’s encouraging words to OBI Pharma chairman Michael Chang (張念慈) after the failure of the company’s breast cancer vaccine in clinical trials.
“It emerged that Fu-tai Investment Co (富鈦投資), for which Tsai’s brother, Tsai Ying-yang (蔡瀛陽), is a board member, is the fifth-largest stockholder in OBI Pharma, owning 3.25 million shares,” Hu said, adding that Fu-tai Investment was named Chieh-sheng Investment Co (潔生投資), after Tsai Ing-wen’s father, Tsai Chieh-sheng (蔡潔生).
After the OBI Pharma scandal snowballed, Hu said Tsai Ying-yang pledged to dispose of all the OBI Pharma shares he owned within a year and in a manner that did not affect the market.
“What is the latest progress in that matter? How much profit has been reaped from the sales? Tsai Ing-wen should come out and give us a clear explanation,” Hu said.
Prosecutors have already cleared the president’s family of any wrongdoing in the OBI Pharma case, DPP spokesman Wang Ming-sheng (王閔生) said, urging the KMT to stop making unsubstantiated claims.
“The KMT already tried to link Tsai Ing-wen with Wong last year to malign the president. Such behavior is irresponsible and KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) should issue an apology,” Wang said.
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