Wu Shih-tsai found guilty
The Taiwan High Court found Wu Shih-tsai (吳思材), one of two key suspects in the Papua New Guinea diplomatic fraud scandal, guilty yesterday of falsifying bank statements and lying to the police about being threatened by a gunman. Wu and Ching Chi-ju (金紀玖), the other main suspect, were commissioned in August 2006 to act as intermediaries in efforts to forge diplomatic ties with Papua New Guinea. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs agreed to wire US$29.8 million to a bank account in Singapore that the two men had opened. The funds were to be transferred to the Papua New Guinea government once a diplomatic communique was signed. After efforts to forge ties collapsed in December 2006, the ministry asked for the money back but Chin allegedly refused to return the funds. Wu faces 28 months behind bars on forgery and defamation charges. Chin remains a fugitive.
SIP reshuffle imminent
The Supreme Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigation Panel (SIP) is facing a possible reshuffle, with spokesperson Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南) and a few others facing replacement after completing two-year terms. Officials have confirmed that prosecutors Shen Ming-lun (沈明倫), Chu Chao-liang (朱朝亮) and Wu Wen-chung (吳文忠) would be replaced in about two weeks. On Feb. 11 the Control Yuan asked the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office to remove Chu and Wu from all cases involving former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of having violated the Prosecutors Code (檢察官守則) by having “private contact with Chen during the process of the investigation.” Chen Yun-nan said yesterday that he was willing to leave: “I have not performed well in this position and should let someone else take over … I have completed my two years in office.” Speculation is rife that Eric Chen (陳瑞仁), the prosecutor who indicted former first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), will return to the SIP in the reshuffle. He did not return phone calls seeking comment yesterday.
IOC veteran laid to rest
Henry Hsu (徐亨), a former member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) who passed away last month aged 98, was laid to rest yesterday at a service attended by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄), Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), IOC member Wu Ching-kuo (吳經國), Sports Affairs Council Minister Tai Hsia-ling (戴遐齡) and 1968 Olympic bronze medalist Chi Cheng (紀政). Hsu’s coffin was draped with the national flag, the flag of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the IOC flag. Hsu was an IOC member from 1970 to 1988.
NCC asked to delay Web site
Lawmakers on the Transportation Committee asked the National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday to postpone the launch of a Web site that would allow the public to check cellphone base station locations. KMT Legislator Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) said people would feel uncomfortable if they saw a base station near their house, regardless of the lack of evidence that the electromagnetic waves emitted by the stations are harmful. KMT Legislator Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) said that even though the NCC removes 100 licensed base stations a year, he still gets protests from the public about the stations. Meanwhile, KMT Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) asked Chunghwa Telecom to end long-distance domestic fees because it was now cheaper to call China than some cities in Taiwan.
CLEAR BEFORE LEAVING: Two baby boys and a woman in her 30s tested negative before departing for Japan, but tests taken after their arrival came back postive Three Taiwanese tested positive for COVID-19 when they arrived in Japan earlier this month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a new imported case. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the center, said that one of the three cases in Japan is a Taiwanese baby under the age of one, whose parents work in Japan. The infant came to Taiwan with his parents in January, and the parents paid for the family’s COVID-19 tests on Oct. 10 ahead of their planned return to Japan on Monday last week, he said. The boy and his
‘BACKED BY ENEMY’: CTi News is one of the few channels promoting unification, the New Party chairman said, while pro-Taiwan groups called it a propaganda outlet Pan-blue camp supporters yesterday lodged a protest at the National Communications Commission (NCC) against what they say is a possible move by the government to shut down CTi News, adding that politics should not interfere with freedom of the press. Protesters included representatives from the New Party, the Blue Sky Action Alliance, the 333 Political Party Alliance and other pan-blue groups. “We stand here today because CTi News is one of the few media outlets in Taiwan that is still willing to give groups supporting unification with China a voice. If the news channel is gone, there would only be
NEW YEAR’S EVE: Examples from South Korea and Japan show that 15 local COVID-19 infections could emerge in a short period if measures are not taken The Taipei City Government would cancel its New Year’s Eve Party and all large events if 15 or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 are reported in the city within a week, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday. Addressing the Taipei Cross Border E-Commerce Annual Convention, Ko said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many uncertainties to society, and that e-commerce is on a path of no return and would continue to grow. Many countries have not effectively controlled their COVID-19 outbreaks, and although Taiwan implements strict border controls and there have been few inbound passengers, the pandemic is unlikely to end soon,
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused CTi News of trying to mislead the public by publishing a half-page advert claiming that the party interfered in the National Communications Commission’s (NCC) review of its application for a license renewal. CTi News is distorting the commission’s review process by painting it as a political conflict and turning it into a smear campaign against the DPP, party spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳) said. “The NCC is an independent body, which carries out reviews and makes decisions based on its members’ professional expertise, as well as regulations and legal requirements governing media operations,” Yen said. “We condemn