Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday urged the government to reopen the investigation into the 319 shooting incident.
On the fifth anniversary of the shooting yesterday, Chen was quoted by his office spokesman Liu Dao (劉導) as saying that he hoped Minister of Justice Wang Ching-feng (王清峰), former convener of a 319 Shooting Truth Investigation Special Committee, would reopen the case.
“The KMT [Chinese Nationalist Party] is now in power. [Chen] is hoping that Minister Wang can lead the Special Investigation Panel [SIP] to probe the case and prove his innocence,” Liu said yesterday outside the Taipei District Court.
The 319 shooting incident refers to an alleged assassination attempt against Chen and Lu in Tainan on March 19, 2004, one day before the presidential election.
A bullet grazed Chen’s stomach and left a 13cm wound, while another bullet hit Lu in the knee. The 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 called the incident an election scheme and asked Wang to lead the investigation.
The case was closed by the Tainan Public Prosecutor’s Office in 2005.
Lu yesterday echoed Chen’s call on the government to reopen the case and defended the former president.
“I was with him the whole day when the shooting happened and I swear on my life that Chen Shui-bian did not have the time to fabricate the shooting,” Lu told a press conference at her office.
Liu criticized the SIP for focusing its efforts on investigating corruption scandals involving the former president and his wife, Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), and called on prosecutors to put more energy into the shooting investigation.
“Prosecutor Yueh Fang-ju [越方如] only asked once about the shooting. He never asked again,” Lu said. “The SIP has become the ‘Bian-Jen’ [扁珍] panel and ignores other cases.”
Lu also challenged the conclusion reached by the committee, which said that only one gunman was involved in the shooting.
The KMT passed a resolution during its Central Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday asking the Ministry of Justice to put more effort into reopening the investigation of the incident.
KMT spokesman Lee Chien-rong (李建榮) said yesterday that KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) supported reopening the case.
KMT caucus deputy secretary-general John Wu (吳志揚) told a separate press conference yesterday that the KMT was responsible for establishing the truth on the incident now that it was in power.
“Minister of Justice Wang used to serve as convener of the [319 Shooting] Truth Investigation Special Committee. She now has greater power in seeking justice and establishing the truth,” he said.
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