Sat, Dec 14, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Chen apologizes for pushing cop

SAYING SORRY:KMT Legislator Arthur Chen offered a second apology to the female police officer, but said it should not cast a shadow over the protest’s purpose

By Jason Pan and Chen Yun  /  Staff reporters

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Arthur Chen, left, bows in apology outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday for having pushed a female police officer at a protest on Friday last week.

Photo copied by Chen Yun, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Arthur Chen (陳宜民) yesterday apologized for pushing a female police officer during a protest at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Taipei on Friday last week.

Chen, who said he had earlier apologized in a Facebook post, bowed and said that he was sorry for making the police officer uncomfortable as a result of his actions and for the attention the event has brought her.

In the protest, a group of KMT lawmakers and city councilors attempted to enter the building to demand that Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) explain the suicide last year of then-director-general of the Osaka branch of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Japan Su Chii-cherng (蘇啟誠).

However, police at the main entrance blocked the KMT members and a scuffle ensued.

Footage from the incident appeared to show Chen asking the police officer for the name of her unit and then knocking her cap off before pushing her.

Chen said he hoped that the incident would not obscure the message of the protest.

The KMT politicians involved in the protest said that they wanted the ministry to be held accountable for Su’s death after Yang Hui-ju (楊蕙如), a former campaign aide to Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), was on Tuesday last week indicted on charges of hiring people to influence public opinion online, and attack or deride opponents.

Yang allegedly directed an online campaign to defend Hsieh by accusing Su of dereliction of duty and failing to help Taiwanese stuck at Japan’s Kansai Airport when Typhoon Jebi hit the nation on Sept. 4 last year.

The accusations stemmed from a fabricated news story that the Chinese embassy in Japan sent buses to evacuate Chinese stranded at the airport.

Although the report was later proven to be false, it sparked criticism of perceived inaction by the ministry.

The hired Internet team allegedly called Su and other branch personnel “festering remnants of the party-state ruled by the KMT,” and wished death upon them, which some said might have contributed to Su committing suicide at his residence in Osaka eight days later.

Yang has not publicly spoken on the matter.

KMT lawmakers have also questioned the source of her funding.

Chinese Taipei Tennis Association board member Chao An-hua (趙安華) on Monday filed a judicial complaint accusing Yang of forgery and financial irregularities for allegedly pocketing NT$90 million (US$2.97 million) in government subsidies related to her organizing the Women’s Tennis Association Taiwan Open in Kaohsiung in 2016, and in Taipei in 2017 and last year.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is considering revoking her party membership, DPP Taipei City chapter director Chen Cheng-te (陳正德) said.

A decision on Yang’s membership would follow the outcome of an investigation by Taipei prosecutors, Chen said after presiding over a chapter executive committee meeting on Tuesday.

“We have to abide by the principle of the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, so it will be up to the judicial ruling on Yang’s case,” he said.

Additional reporting by CNA

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