Ma and for­mer Pres­i­dent Chen cleared of charges: in­ves­ti­ga­tors

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY STEPHANIE CHAO

Both in­cum­bent Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou ( ) and for­mer Pres­i­dent Chen Shui-bian ( ) were cleared of re­ceiv­ing il­licit po­lit­i­cal do­na­tions yesterday by the Spe­cial In­ves­ti­ga­tion Di­vi­sion (SID), which cited in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to press charges.

The SID of the Supreme Pros­e­cu­tors’ Of­fice said that Ma had only ac­cepted a to­tal of NT$7 mil­lion le­gal do­na­tions from L&K Group Chair­man Ken­neth Yao ( ) and then-First In­ter­na­tional Tele­com Corp. ( ) Pres­i­dent Char­lie Wu ( ).

Yao had made the con­tri­bu­tions un­der the com­pany’s and his own name, which was re­lated to the merg­ing of L&K and RSEA En­gi­neer­ing Corp. ( ).

The SID stressed Ma had not re­ceived any do­na­tions from Ting Hsin In­ter­na­tional Group (

). Pres­i­den­tial Of­fice spokesman Charles Chen ( ) ex­pressed his grat­i­fi­ca­tion of the pres­i­dent’s in­no­cence in re­sponse to the news.

Ma had been un­der the SID’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion and scru­tiny af­ter ra­dio host Clara Chou ( ) ac­cused him of ac­cept­ing off-the-books po­lit­i­cal do­na­tions to­tal­ing NT$200 mil­lion (US$6.49 mil­lion) from Ting Hsin dur­ing his re-elec­tion cam­paign in 2012.

Chou then had also re­ferred to Formosa Elec­tronic News (

) Vice Pres­i­dent Wu Tsuchia’s ( ) claims that Ma had re­ceived po­lit­i­cal con­tri­bu­tions of NT$1 bil­lion in the same cam­paign, also from Ting Hsin.

From what was re­vealed through the SID’s in­ves­ti­ga­tions, the four Wei broth­ers of Ting Hsin, their wives and chil­dren had with­drawn a to­tal of NT$72.5 mil­lion from 31 in­di­vid­ual bank ac­counts from June 2011 to Jan. 14, 2012 prior to the 13th pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

The SID said that the amount of with­drawn money was a far cry from the al­leged NT$1 bil­lion and NT$200 mil­lion. SID of­fi­cials also pointed out the money “had noth­ing to do with po­lit­i­cal con­tri­bu­tions” ei­ther.

In the Wei brother’s for­eign ex­change trans­ac­tion records, an item of NT$20,000 was also found un­re­lated to po­lit­i­cal do­na­tions. Wu could not pro­vide sus­tain­able ev­i­dence to back up his claims, pros­e­cu­tors said.

The trans­ac­tion records from June 2011 to Jan. 14, 2012 for Ma and other fam­ily mem­bers, as well as his sub­or­di­nate Kang Bing-cheng’s ( ) third-de­gree rel­a­tives, were no where near the claimed NT$1 bil­lion and NT$200 mil­lion.

Law­mak­ers and Oth­ers’ Claims

Un­founded

Sep­a­rate al­le­ga­tions made by po­lit­i­cal com­men­ta­tors Chen Min-feng ( ) and Chang Yu-hua ( ), Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party Leg­is­la­tor Tuan Yi-kang ( ) and for­mer law­maker Liu Wen-hsi­ung ( ) that Ma had ac­cepted illegal do­na­tions of NT$200 mil­lion in 2007 from at least 12 telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and elec­tron­ics ty­coons were proven un­founded.

Dur­ing the two gath­er­ings Ma con­ducted with the ty­coons, the SID found that there were no men­tions of “po­lit­i­cal do­na­tions.” The do­na­tions that were found con­nected with the ty­coons were all made legally or prior to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Po­lit­i­cal Do­na­tions Act.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.