Ma asks Executive Yuan to help with 319 probe

COOPERATION: Because the Special Investigation Panel had reopened the case, the president urged the executive to provide money for the investigation

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Tue, Mar 24, 2009 - Page 3

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday instructed the Executive Yuan to fully cooperate with the Special Investigation Panel (SIP) in the investigation of the “319” assassination attempt.

Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said Ma made the request during a weekly luncheon with Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄), Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) at the Presidential Office.

Wang said that when the Democratic Progressive Party was in power, the Executive Yuan refused to cooperate with the truth investigation committee. As the SIP has reopened the case, Wang said, Ma hoped the executive branch would inject money and manpower and offer any necessary assistance.

The 319 shooting incident refers to an assassination attempt against former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) in Tainan on March 19, 2004, one day before the presidential election.

One bullet grazed Chen’s stomach and another hit Lu in the knee. Authorities later identified the shooter as Chen Yi-hsiung (陳義雄), who was found dead 10 days after the incident. The pan-blue camp at the time said that the shooting incident was staged. The case was closed by the Tainan Public Prosecutor’s Office in 2005.

In related news, Ma yesterday said he hoped to see the legislature pass amendments to the Local Government Act (地方制度法) by the middle of next month.

Wang said that the Presidential Office, Executive Yuan, Legislative Yuan and KMT came to a consensus on the speedy passage of the legal revisions at yesterday’s meeting.

While Taichung county and city as well as Kaohsiung county and city have made efforts to integrate and upgrade the administrative status of the merged regions, Wang said the proposed amendments were not custom-written for any county or city.

“The Executive Yuan will handle the matter fairly and legally,” Wang said.

Kaohsiung County Commissioner Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) said he hoped to see the merger of Kaohsiung county and city happen in tandem with that of Taichung county and city next year.

Ma also said he wanted to see the legislature pass amendments to the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) that would lead to the prosecution of civil servants who could not identify the sources of their assets.