Sat, Feb 24, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Sources cast doubt on Koo’s denials of cover-up

By Chen Yu-fu and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporters

Dozens of boxes of documents and office items belonging to the National Women’s League, previously thought to have been lost, are delivered to the front door of the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee office in Taipei yesterday by a removal company.

Photo: Chen Yu-fu, Taipei Times

Whether office items retrieved by former National Women’s League chairwoman Cecilia Koo’s (辜嚴倬雲) daughter were indeed all personal effects has devolved into a he-said-she-said situation, with the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee yesterday maintaining that the location where the league supposedly stored its financial records was found empty.

A source with knowledge of the matter, who requested anonymity, said that after asking the league to hand over archives and financial documents predating 2006, the committee received an overview listing the league’s account books, archives and financial records that were relocated in May last year.

However, when committee staff followed league employees’ instructions and inspected a unit within a residential building on Taipei’s Dehui Street, it had already been emptied, a committee member said, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

The committee member said that testimony provided by a dozen league employees the committee had questioned so far — including league deputy secretary-general Nancy Nee (汲宇荷), the driver who helped deliver the documents and league staff who packed the records — all pointed to the league’s official documents being sent to Koo’s residence.

Citing as proof remarks on Facebook earlier yesterday mader by league chairwoman Joanna Lei (雷倩), the committee member said that if all the items were personal effects, as Koo claimed, Lei would not have been concerned that documents that could help the league refute the committee’s accusations might have been destroyed.

“How could the league’s documents and account books be personal effects?” the committee member asked. “And how could personal effects be used to disprove the committee’s accusations?”

Later yesterday, committee spokeswoman Shih Chin-fang (施錦芳) said that Koo’s family hired two trucks to deliver items stored in another unit in the Dehui Street building to the committee yesterday afternoon.

“Most of the items are personal items belonging to Koo, while a small portion are letters and books belonging to Soong Mayling (蔣宋美齡),” Shih said, adding that committee staff was still going through the items.

Soong, Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) wife, established the league in 1950 and led it for decades.

Lei made the remarks one day after Koo’s third-youngest daughter, Koo Huai-ju (辜懷如), held a news conference in Taipei, at which she released a statement by her mother, who maintained she had only instructed her daughter to retrieve “personal items” from her old office.

“After being listed as a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-affiliate, in addition to taking legal action, another challenge is to present evidence within four months proving that the league’s assets are not party assets,” Lei said on Facebook. “However, the documents we still have at hand can only be described as unbelievably fragmentary.”

Lei said that a photograph of the empty location was on Thursday shown to league staff by the committee and this, coupled with Koo Huai-ju’s news conference, made her suspicous.

“Could the piles of documents boxed last year, which might have included records that could be used to refute the committee’s accusations, have mostly been shredded?” Lei asked.

Koo on Dec. 22 last year was removed from her position by the Ministry of the Interior and succeeded by Lei after she refused to sign a government-proposed administrative contract.

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