The Control Yuan yesterday charged former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) with dereliction of her duties when she facilitated government investments in Yu Chang Biologics Co (宇昌生技) in 2007.
Control Yuan members Ma Yi-kung (馬以工), Yeh Yao-peng (葉耀鵬), Ma Hsiu-ju (馬秀如) and Lee Ful-dien (李復甸) called a press conference yesterday to publicize their investigation report on the Yu Chang case.
The case emerged in the run-up to the presidential election in January last year, when the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) accused Tsai, then the DPP presidential candidate, of playing an improper role in the formation of Yu Chang Biologics Co, now known as TaiMed Biologics Inc (中裕新藥).
Photo: Wang Min-wei, Taipei Times
In August last year, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division closed its investigation into the case, finding no evidence of wrongdoing against Tsai.
Tsai was then accused of corruption because she approved separate government investments of NT$875 million (US$29.6 million) and US$20 million — about NT$1.4 billion in total — for the biotechnology start-up before leaving office as vice premier, and later served as Yu Chang chairperson.
Ma Yi-kung dismissed speculation about the timing of the report’s release — at a time when President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration and the KMT are embroiled in what has been termed the “September political strife” — saying that the meeting to review the report had been scheduled for Sept. 4, before the case at the center of the political strife came to light on Sept. 6.
In the report, the Control Yuan members concluded that it was “obvious” that Tsai’s actions “constituted dereliction of [her] duties” in approving government funds to be invested in Yu Chang Biologics.
The appropriation procedure through which the then-DPP government decided to authorize the investment was processed by a handful of people in the government, which was an unusual practice, the report said.
Tsai approved the investments without seeking then-premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) views when the US biotech giant Genentech, then a potential partner of Yu Chang Biologics Co, proposed a less favorable cooperation plan with the new company compared with its previous proposal, which Su had agreed to, the report said.
When asked to specify irregularities involving Tsai that they discovered in the investigation, Ma Yi-kung said the Control Yuan would send its investigation report to the Ministry of Justice.
The four Control Yuan members proposed that the Executive Yuan and the Council for Economic Planning and Development, in charge of the government funds, be censored over the case and the motion was adopted.
The investigation by the four Control Yuan members began in February last year.
The Yu Chang case was also probed by the Anti-Corruption Committee of the Control Yuan. The committee closed the case in February, finding no evidence that Tsai committed any irregularities under the Public Officials’ Conflicts of Interest Prevention Act (公職人員利益衝突迴避法).
Tsai’s office yesterday said the Control Yuan’s report was flawed and appeared to be a tactic by the Ma administration to shift the focus away from its own ongoing political turmoil.
At a press conference, DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) announced a four-point statement on behalf of Tsai, who did not attend the press conference, saying that the Yu Chang case was a discreditation campaign Ma had orchestrated for personal political gain during the presidential campaign in 2011, and which ended up hurting Taiwan’s biotech industry.
“We suspect the Control Yuan has become a political tool of the Ma administration, which has infringed on the constitutional mechanism and launched a political purge, and tried to portray Tsai and other DPP members as corrupt politicians,” Chen said.
The conclusion of the report had several fatal mistakes, lawyer Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said.
The report accused Tsai of having unilaterally approved the National Development Fund investment in Yu Chang Biologics without informing Su.
However, the document Tsai had approved was only a progress report on the negotiation of the investment plan, and the final approval of the plan was approved by former premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) after Tsai and Su left the Cabinet in September 2007, Koo said.
“This case has been spreading rumors from the first minute and the Control Yuan’s report was ridiculous,” Koo said, adding that the report seemed to be a vicious attempt to sow dissension between Tsai and Su, who many believe will be fighting for the DPP’s nomination for the next presidential election.
Tainan City Councilor Lu Kun-fu (盧崑福) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday sparked further controversy when he echoed remarks by KMT caucus whip Alex Fai (費鴻泰) that Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) should be executed for an increase in domestic COVID-19 cases. Chen heads the Central Epidemic Command Center. Lu at a question-and-answer session at the Tainan City Council said that a lapse in disease prevention measures at China Airlines, which has led to a cluster infection, could have been controlled. However, as the airline’s pilots were allowed a shortened quarantine period of three days and were placed
DATA-DRIVEN: The dedicated department used big data to find sexual harassment hot spots on the Mass Rapid Transit system to take measures against perpetrators Most incidents of sexual harassment and secret photography in Taipei’s MRT metropolitan railway system over the past five years occurred at three stations, the Rapid Transit Division of the Taipei City Police Department said in a statement yesterday. Most incidents were recorded at Zhongxiao-Fuxing MRT Station, followed by Taipei Main and Zhongxiao-Dunhua MRT stations, the department said, adding that the results were obtained through big data analysis. The system, which serves Taipei and New Taipei City, handles about 2.2 million passengers per day, and most cases of secret photography and sexual harassment — usually involving touching a victims buttocks or chest
‘STAY CALM’: The nation has more than 800 million masks in stock and can produce up to 40 million a day, while hand sanitizer stocks are also sufficient The nation has an ample supply of masks to meet demand amid concerns over an increase in the number of domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Tuesday. Taiwan has more than 800 million masks in stock, with daily production of 18.3 million units on average and maximum daily capacity of 40 million units, the ministry said on Facebook. The ministry’s assurance came after Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), on Monday said that the nation has entered the community transmission stage after several new domestic
EYES AND EARS: The navy has commissioned the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology to manufacture radars to upgrade the nation’s naval monitoring stations A military enthusiast yesterday posted photographs of Taiwanese F-16 jets taking off from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu with two refueling aircraft, presumably returning to Taiwan from the US for upgrades. Asked about the matter, the Ministry of National Defense declined to comment. The jets had been part of training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and had briefly landed in Honolulu, where the photographer, Aeros808, had spotted them, a source said. The jets did not land in Guam, which had been done in 1996 when the US Air Force delivered F-16s to Taiwan, the source said, adding that the