President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has filed a defamation lawsuit against National Taiwan University professor emeritus Ho De-fen (賀德芬) and University of North Carolina at Charlotte Belk College of Business professor Hwan C. Lin (林環牆), the Presidential Office said yesterday.
Ho on Thursday last week accused Tsai of forging her diploma and falsely stating that she obtained her doctorate from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 1984, citing what she said was an independent investigation by Lin, but not detailing its results.
The accusations are untrue, damaged the president’s reputation and undermined her credibility, the office said yesterday.
Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times
Lawyers Lien Yuan-lung (連元龍) and Chang Jen-chih (張人志), representing Tsai, provided documents to the Taipei District Court from numerous sources confirming the veracity of Tsai’s dissertation and doctoral degree.
Upon request by the Presidential Office, the LSE provided a copy of Tsai’s dissertation, titled “Unfair Trade Practices and Safeguard Actions”; a copy of an official notice, dated February 1984, sent to Tsai informing her that she had passed her oral defense of the dissertation; and a photocopy of Tsai’s diploma, dated March 1984, it said.
The copy of Tsai’s dissertation sent by the LSE also contained the names of both of her thesis advisers, surnamed Lazar and Elliot, it said.
The credentials sent by the LSE matched those archived in the Ministry of Education and the Presidential Office, it added.
The office said that it had contacted National Chengchi University, where Tsai landed her first job after returning to Taiwan, and received confirmation that it has three copies of Tsai’s dissertation.
This proves that Tsai completed her doctoral studies and dissertation in 1984, it said.
Tsai was only a returning academic in 1984 and held no post in the government or the Democratic Progressive Party, so there is no reason for any government agency or university to “help cover” for her in 1984, it added.
As president, Tsai must maintain social credibility, the office said, adding that such baseless accusations have crossed the line.
As Ho has requested that the judiciary become involved, legal action has been taken, the office said, adding that it hoped the results would quell such “absurd and meaningless questions.”
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