The Special Investigation Panel (SIP) of the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office said yesterday it would investigate former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) on suspicion of money laundering.
“We will look into the allegation brought against Lee,” SIP spokesman Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南) told reporters.
When asked if former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was the accuser as some local media had reported, the prosecutor said “yes.”
Chen Yun-nan said that Chen Shui-bian provided information on Lee’s alleged money laundering during the investigation. He did not elaborate on the details of the charges.
At a separate setting yesterday, the Taiwan Solidarity Union Secretary-General Lin Chih-chia (林志嘉) slammed Chen Shui-bian for blurring the focus of the case by allegedly accusing Lee — the party’s spiritual leader.
“Lee has always welcomed the prosecutors to launch a probe [into his financial dealings]. Everyone knows Chen [Shui-bian’s] only tactic left is to blur the focus. I am 200 percent confident in Lee’s integrity,” Lin said.
Later yesterday however, one of Chen Shui-bian’s defense attorneys, Shih Yi-lin (石宜琳), said his client never filed any complaints with the prosecutors against Lee. Chen Shui-bian had nothing to do with the probe into Lee’s financial dealings, Shih said.
“It is one big misunderstanding. My client never provided any information regarding [former] president Lee on his own initiative or when asked by the prosecutors,” said Shih, adding that he speculated the rumor was probably started by some “opportunistic politicians.”
Chen Shui-bian was indicted on Dec. 12 on graft charges for allegedly embezzling NT$104 million (US$3.14 million) from a special presidential fund together with his wife. Several former senior officials from his administration are also under investigation for corruption.
He has previously alleged on television that his predecessor transferred around NT$1.6 billion abroad through dummy accounts — charges Lee rejected.
Hailed as “Mr Democracy,” Lee pushed through reforms to allow direct elections of the president and national lawmakers. He was also Taiwan’s first democratically elected president. Lee served as Taiwan’s president from 1988 to 2000, when he was succeeded by Chen Shui-bian.
‘UNACCEPTABLE’: The foreign ministry said that China’s behavior broke international law, while Johnny Chiang was worried such balloons could be used against Taiwan A suspected Chinese surveillance balloon flying over the US was yesterday condemned by officials in Taipei and sparked calls for the government to plan countermeasures. The Pentagon on Thursday said it had detected a Chinese surveillance balloon flying over the country. Beijing has said the balloon is a civilian meteorological device that drifted into US territory after being blown off course. The National Security Bureau and Ministry of National Defense should investigate whether surveillance balloons could be used against Taiwan and prepare to respond to such acts, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s postponement
INTELLIGENCE VALUE: While the US was working on recovering the balloon’s remains, China said that it reserved ‘the right to make ... necessary responses’ US President Joe Biden’s administration lauded the Pentagon for shooting down an alleged Chinese spy balloon off the US Atlantic coast on Saturday, but China angrily voiced its “strong dissatisfaction” at the move, and said it might make “necessary responses.” The craft spent several days flying over North America before it was targeted off the coast of the southeastern state of South Carolina with a missile fired from an F-22 plane, Pentagon officials said. It fell into relatively shallow water just 14m deep. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called the operation a “deliberate and lawful action” that came in response to China’s
RISK FACTOR: ASEAN issued a statement saying the cross-strait situation ‘could lead to miscalculation,’ but it is willing to facilitate dialogue to ensure stability in the region The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday welcomed a joint statement by ASEAN leaders voicing concerns that the situation across the Taiwan Strait could affect regional stability. The statement was issued after the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat ended on Saturday in Jakarta. It was the first major meeting since Indonesia assumed chairmanship of ASEAN this year. Attendees of the meeting reiterated their determination to promote “sustainable peace, security, stability, and prosperity within and beyond the region,” the statement said. They expressed concerns about developments across the Taiwan Strait and their “implications on regional stability,” the statement said. The cross-strait situation “could lead to miscalculation, serious
THINK TANK VISIT: The former US Indo-Pacific official said that a capture of Taiwan’s outlying islands by China rather than a large-scale attack is a grave security concern The US and Taiwan can deepen their relations on many fronts, former head of the US Indo-Pacific Command Philip Davidson said yesterday while visiting President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office. Davidson is leading a six-member delegation from the National Bureau of Asian Research, a US-based think tank. They arrived on Monday and are scheduled to depart tomorrow. Tsai met with the delegation yesterday morning, welcoming the organization on its first visit to Taiwan since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the office said in a statement. She thanked Davidson, a retired admiral, for paying close attention to matters regarding the Taiwan