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.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is aware that Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong has weakened any possible sentiment for a “one country, two systems” arrangement for Taiwan, and has instructed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) politburo member Wang Huning (王滬寧) to develop new ways of defining cross-strait relations, Japanese news magazine Nikkei Asia reported on Thursday. A former professor of international politics at Fu Dan University, Wang is expected to develop a dialogue that could serve as the foundation for cross-strait unification, and Xi plans to use the framework to support a fourth term as president, Nikkei Asia quoted an anonymous source
LUCKY DATE: The man picked the 10th ‘Super Red Envelope’ in a lottery store in Taoyuan’s Jhongli because he broke up with his girlfriend on Jan. 10 A man who recently broke up with his girlfriend won a NT$1 million (US$32,929) prize in the “NT$20 million Super Red Envelope” lottery after picking a card based on the date of their breakup, Taiwan Lottery Co said yesterday. The man, in his 20s, bought the 10th ticket at a lottery store in Taoyuan’s Jhongli District (中壢), because he broke up with his girlfriend on Jan. 10, the store owner told the lottery company. The “Super Red Envelope” lottery was a limited offering by the company during the Lunar New Year holiday, which ended yesterday. The cards, which cost NT$2,000 each, came with
TOURISM BOOST: The transportation system could help attract more visitors to the area, as the line is to connect multiple cultural sites, a city councilor said Residents in New Taipei City’s Ankeng District (安坑) said the local light rail system might have a positive influence, but raised questions about its practicality. The Ankeng light rail system, which is to commence operations after the Lunar New Year holiday, would cut travel time for commuters from Ankeng to downtown Taipei or New Taipei City by 15 to 20 minutes, the city government said. According to the initial plan, there would be one train every 15 minutes during peak time and additional interval trains would run between the densely populated Ankang Station (安康) and Shisizhang Station (十 四張). To encourage people to
CHAMPION TREES: The team used light detection and ranging imaging to locate the tree, and found that it measured a height of 84.1m and had a girth of 8.5m A team committed to finding the tallest trees in the nation yesterday said that an 84.1m tall Taiwania cryptomerioides tree had been named the tallest tree in Taiwan and East Asia. The Taiwan Champion Trees, a team consisting of researchers from the Council of Agriculture’s Taiwan Forestry Research Institute and National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), in June last year used light detection and ranging (LiDAR) imaging to find the giant tree, numbered 55214, upstream of the Daan River (大安溪). A 20-member expedition team led by Rebecca Hsu (徐嘉君), an assistant researcher at the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, set out to find the