Sat, Jan 21, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Lawyer calls for probe into president’s foundation

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee should launch a probe into foundations headed by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to determine whether they are Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) affiliates, an attorney said yesterday.

Yeh Ching-yuan (葉慶元), representing the Minsheng Development Foundation and the National Development Fund, made the remark at a hearing to determine whether the foundation and the fund, along with the Mintsu Development Foundation and Minchuan Development, are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) affiliates.

The committee earlier during the hearing said that the post of Mintsu and Minchuan foundations’ presidents have been taken by KMT Administrative and Management Committee directors, suggesting that the foundations could be linked to the KMT.

Yeh said the foundations being probed yesterday were each founded by NT$30 million (US$951,384) donated by Hsinyutai Co in Sept. 2015.

The KMT in 2010 transferred its shareholding rights in Hsinyutai to Central Investment Co chairman Gordon Chen (陳樹) and four other persons, meaning that the donations made by Hsinyutai were irrelevant to the KMT, Yeh said.

The foundations have the right to decide how to spend their capital and the committee has failed to obtain any evidence that the KMT has control over their finances, he said.

The New Frontier Foundation, at which Tsai serves as president, is used by the DPP as an open platform to communicate with the public and if the assets committee insists on continuing its investigations into the four foundations, it should also probe Tsai’s foundation, Yeh said.

Committee Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) asked attorney Ku Hsiang-yi (谷湘儀), who represents Hsinyutai, why the holding company, then headed by Chen, decided to subsidize the foundations.

“Is making donations to foundations not a good thing? Is it not legal?” Ku replied.

The committee questioned why part of the foundations’ operations have been managed by the KMT, showing a resignation tendered by two directors at the Mintsu and Minchuan foundations last year were affixed with seals belonging to KMT member Wang Sheng-tien (王生田) and later approved by the party’s Administration and Management Committee, headed by Chiu Da-chan (邱大展).

As with the Minsheng Development Foundation, the foundations’ presidents have all been KMT officials and their directors KMT employees, the committee said.

Asked by the committee why the foundations’ staffing overlaps with that of the KMT’s, Chiu said the party has been cutting personnel costs by asking employees to work for the foundations.

Chiu said Wang had “affixed the wrong seal” to the resignation letter and said that he would “severely punish” Wang if he repeats the mistake.

Attorney Chang Shao-teng (張少騰), on behalf of the KMT, said the party rejects any claims that it has interfered with the foundations’ staffing, finances or operations, urging Koo’s committee not to make presumptions.

This story has been viewed 3473 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top