Wed, Apr 12, 2017 - Page 3 News List

DPP calls for probe on KMT media disposals

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party legislators Chuang Jui-hsiung, left, and Yeh Yi-chin hold a news conference in Taipei yesterday, calling for the reopning of investigations into the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) sale of three media firms.

Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times

Prosecutors should reopen investigations into the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) allegedly questionable disposal of holdings in three media companies, and former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) should be questioned as a key person involved in the sales, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.

The issue of Ma’s involvement in the KMT’s sale of Central Motion Pictures Corp (CMPC) sparked an online spat last month between KMT Central Policy Committee director Alex Tsai (蔡正元) and Ma’s spokeswoman Hsu Chiao-hsin (徐巧芯).

“Someone sold the party assets, but could not collect the money,” Tsai said on Facebook on March 27 in a diatribe against Hsu.

“Someone will go to hell if you [Hsu] mention the CMPC case again,” he wrote. “The one who gets hurt most in the CMPC case will be someone you think is a great person.”

DPP deputy secretary-general Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) yesterday said that Tsai’s comments pointed to Ma’s involvement in the case.

CMPC — initially sold to Jung-li Investment Co in late 2005 — was in 2006 jointly acquired by a group of investors comprising Apollo Investment — founded and chaired by Tsai — former CMPC vice president Chuang Wan-chun (莊婉均) and Cheng Uei Precision Industry Co chairman Gou Tai-chiang’s (郭台強) wife, Lor Yu-chen (羅玉珍).

Shilin District Court Judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇), who reviewed the CMPC sales during an investigation into a forgery case, said there were questionable practices in the CMPC sales.

The KMT transferred ownership of CMPC to the group without having received full payment, allowing the buyers to control the company and its assets with money still owing, Hsu cited Lin as saying.

Following the transfer, the group liquidated CMPC assets and used the money to secure bank loans and investments.

The sales contract also specified that the group would offer the KMT a share of any profits made from the sale of the firm’s real estate, which sparked speculation that the deal was aimed at illegal profiteering, Hsu cited Lin as saying.

“Although it was the major party that ruled Taiwan for 60 years, the KMT allowed Tsai and ‘someone’ to approve such sales. If that is not ceding of property, what is it?” Hsu said.

Lin filed a charge against the allegedly questionable CMPC sales, but the now-defunct Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office did not conduct any investigations into Lin’s findings and concluded the case in 2014 without identifying any impropriety, Hsu said.

“Then-KMT chairman Ma was the main decisionmaker in the sales of the three companies [CMPC, Broadcasting Corp of China and China Television Co] but the SID — supervised by former prosecutor-general Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘), a close aide to Ma — never interviewed Ma over his role in the sales,” Hsu said.

“Since the SID was abolished in January, the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office should reopen the investigation as new evidence has emerged,” she said.

The DPP called on Ma and Tsai to explain their involvement in the disposal of the three companies, which were allegedly sold at well below market prices in a bid to transfer party assets.

The DPP caucus also questioned the legitimacy of the CMPC sales.

The CMPC was founded on the back of Japanese colonial-era properties taken over by the Republic of China, and CMPC assets should be considered national assets that should not be misappropriated or sold, DPP Legislator Yeh Yi-chin (葉宜津) said.

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