Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chen's Books Can't Conceal His Crimes

Chen's Books Can't Conceal His Crimes
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 20, 2008

The Special Investigative Unit still faces many problems. Former President Chen Shui-bian staged a hunger strike. As a result, he was hospitalized. After being treated for four days, he was returned to the Taipei Detention Center. Through his attorneys, he issued a "declaration," openly accusing the Special Investigative Unit of selective prosecution, of prosecuting him but not prosecuting Ma Ying-jeou. Actually, prior to Ah-Bian's declaration, he had already asked his friend Chang Wei-ching to make public a photograph of himself engaged in conversation with Special Investigators Chu Chao-liang and Wu Wen-chung. Was Chen Shui-bian attempting to intimidate them? Was he bringing pressure to bear on them? Was he attempting to obstruct justice? No matter what Ah-Bian's intention was, the law is the law, and the truth will out.

What exactly is Chen Shui-bian's relationship with the Special Investigative Unit? Observers are finding it hard to tell. Ah-Bian served as president for eight years. Only recently did the Bureau of Investigation Chief reveal Chen's secrets. Only recently did everyone realize this president was obsessed with learning and hoarding secrets. Not only did he conceal information about his own family's money-laundering, he kept photocopies of official case files prosecutors were working on.

Before and after Prosecutor General Chen Tsung-ming took office, he attended dinner parties with Ah-Bian's close friends, political cronies, and industry heads. This is no longer considered news. As head of state, Chen Shui-bian is the real chief of national security. The information in his possession is clearly not limited to matters of national security.

As early as July this year, after Ah-Bian stepped down, the Special Investigative Unit began an intensive investigation of the State Affairs Fund. Chang Wei-ching insinuated that Special Investigative Unit prosecutors had a "special relationship" with Ah-Bian. She said Chu Chao-liang met and spoke with Ah-Bian during the funeral for religious leader Master Ji-hui. Her remarks touched off a firestorm. Chu Chao-liang said they merely exchanged polite greetings. They did not discuss any legal cases. Regardless, prosecutors did meet with suspects in cases they were prosecuting. They were not investigating or questioning the suspects at the time. If that wasn't controversial enough, once Chang Wei-ching made this public, Chen Shui-bian said he knew a lot about the Special Investigative Unit. He said some people were "kiting stocks." Lest we forget, the Presidential Palace Stock Kiting scandal was investigated by the Taipei District Prosecutor's Office. Recently, it resumed investigating the former administration's scandals. Suspects include former high-ranking officials of the Presidential Office, and even former First Lady Wu Shu-chen. Chen Shui-bian's insinuations forced Wu Wen-Chung to clear the air. He owned no stock. His wife purchased stocks the same way as other members of the public, by drawing lots. This cut short Ah-Bian's attempt to muddy the truth. But Ah-Bian had already succeeded in throwing the Special Investigative Unit off its stride, and forced it to consider asking Chu and and Wu to recuse themselves.

To everyones' surprise, Chen Shui-bian was not done. He struck again, using his usual tricks. And as usual, they worked. As soon as the photographs of Ah-Bian engaged in conversation with Chu and Wu came to light, Chen Tsung-ming immediately called a meeting with both Chu and Wu. It's all terribly ironic. Chen Tsung-ming was repeatedly investigated by the Ministry of Justice because of his presence at certain dinner parties, and because he leaked Bureau of Investigation secrets. Now he was being forced to investigate two Special Investigative Unit prosecutors. All three found themselves in the same pickle. Anyone who gets too close to Chen Shui-bian invariably finds himself up to his neck in hot water.

People who have gotten close to the Chen family over the past eight years have lived high off the hog, for a while. But how many of them imagined that becoming too chummy with the Chen family would one day lead to their interrogation by criminal prosecutors. Every one of them, from real estate agents who bought and sold property for the Chen family, to the father-in-law of the Chen family chauffeur who bought Chen Hsing-yu a used car, has been interrogated by the Special Investigative Unit. Add to these others unaware that Chen had used their invoices to apply for State Affairs Funds. How they must be wracking their brains, struggling to recall just exactly when their invoices were put to such use.

Forget about industry figures. Second Financial Reform holding company heads, construction industry heads, and most recently, the chairman of TECO Electric and Machinery Huang Mao-hsiung and his wife, have all been interrogated. The Huang family's relations with the Chen family were good to begin with. Huang Mao-hsiung's wife was a piano teacher for Chen Shui-bian's daughter-in-law Huang Jui-ching. They weren't interrogated because they had good relations with the Chen family. They were interrogated because Huang family assets found their way into the Chen family's bank accounts. Huang Mao-hsiung's wife claimed the money was merely a wedding gift to Chen Chih-chung. Her story matched the Ma family's. The Ma family, which owns Yuanta, gave the Chen family six million dollars. Now that was a real eye-opener. Who knew prominent politicians and businessmen made gifts of such magnitude? The Huang family left everyone even more flabbergasted. Who knew wedding gifts could be made by wire transfer? Think about it. How large does a wedding gift need to be before it's necessary to use wire transfers? Before you can transfer money into someone else's account, that person must first provide you with his account number. Unless the Chen family first opened their mouths, who would have had the temerity to transfer money into their accounts? For a head of state to accept gifts in such a manner, is not merely raking it in. Who can forget the Chen family's ringing proclamation that they would not accept wedding gifts? The Chen family's transparent lies have made them a national joke.

Did money change hands? Were crimes committed? If these questions can be answered, the suspects will be cleared. It is unlikely prosecutors with the Special Investigation Unit had any financial dealings with the Chen family. It is unlikely they took Chen family money. None of them have the financial wherewithal to give the Chen family money. They talked to Chen once in passing. Then before they knew it, a photograph had suddenly become "damning evidence," difficult to explain, possibly part of yet another Chen Shui-bian ploy to obstruct justice.

Prosecutors hold the power of life and death over suspects. Many prosecutors are Buddhists. This is not surprising. Chu and Wu never imagined their faith in Buddhism would make them victims of Chen Shui-bian's dirty tricks. Buddhism has compassion for all living creatures. There are many ways of relating to people. But there is only one way of relating to slippery characters such as Chen Shui-bian. Get tough with them and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

扁帳再怎麼亂 還是得理清楚

「特偵組的問題還很多!」因為絕食被戒護送醫的前總統陳水扁,在就醫四天後送回北所,又透過律師傳遞「聲明」,直指特偵組辦扁不辦馬;事實上,在扁聲明 前,已經透過所謂的友人張瑋津公布一張扁與特偵組檢察官朱朝亮、吳文忠同席歡談的照片,陳水扁的用意到底是恫嚇?施壓?還是干擾?不論扁的用心如何,司法 的歸司法,該查清楚的真相還是得追究。



早在今年七月,特偵組在扁卸任後開始緊鑼密鼓查辦國務機要費案時,張瑋津即透露特偵組檢察官與扁的「特殊關係」,當時,她指朱朝亮在一場日慧法師的過世法 會中與扁見面談話,鬧出一場風波,朱朝亮也為此說明只是禮貌性寒暄,沒談任何案情,但不論如何,檢察官與涉案當事人碰面,又非偵辦問訊,確實引起爭議。這 還不夠,陳水扁就在張瑋津爆料後指,他知道特偵組很多事,包括有人「炒股票」,不要忘了,總統府炒股案曾經是北檢結案,最近又重啟偵辦的一樁前朝弊案,所 涉者不只是總統府前高層,還包括前第一夫人吳淑珍。陳水扁的含沙射影,讓吳文忠在第一時間跳出來澄清,他手中沒什麼股票,是老婆像一般民眾一樣抽籤買來 的。這個扁企圖掀波的話題就此終了,但已經讓特偵組討論要不要讓朱、吳兩人迴避,手忙腳亂了一陣子。

沒想到,陳水扁還不死心,再度出招,出的還是老招,老招還是造成干擾效應。陳聰明在扁與朱吳歡談照片曝光後,即刻約詢朱、吳兩人,了解情況。說來諷刺,陳 聰明因為夜宴案和調查局洩密案,多次遭到法務部的調查,此刻,他還得負責調查特偵組的檢察官,三人處境相同,誰和陳水扁沾上邊,誰就倒楣!

和扁家沾上邊的人,過去八年多,可能吃香喝辣,風光的時候,沒人想到因為與扁家或深或淺的關係,都得經歷這麼被檢調約談的「初體驗」,從與扁家有房屋買賣 的仲介業,到只不過買了陳幸妤二手車的陳家司機岳父,都得走一趟特偵組,還有許許多多自己渾然不知,只是因為發票成了扁請領國務機要費的單據,就得想破頭 回憶這張發票到底是什麼時候做了什麼用途?

企業界人士更甭說了,從二次金控企業主、營建業者,到最近東元電機董事長黃茂雄夫婦也被約談,黃家與扁家本來就交好,黃茂雄太太還是扁媳黃睿靚的鋼琴老 師,但是關係好是不會被約談的,問題出在黃家竟也有資金匯進扁家,黃茂雄太太的說法是,那是很單純的陳致中結婚禮金,和元大馬家的說詞相同。馬家爆出禮金 六百萬,已經讓人瞠目結舌,原來政商巨賈紅包可以大到這麼大。黃家更絕,他讓社會大眾第一次見識到結婚禮金原來還可以用帳戶匯款的。試想,這筆禮金要大到 多大,才需要以匯款方式送出?錢進帳戶,不是想匯的人就能匯,還得扁家提供帳號啊,扁家不開口,誰有本事匯得了錢進去?身為國家元首用這種方式收禮金,已 經不只是打抽豐了,沒人會忘記,扁家辦喜事前還公開說過「不收禮」,扁家讓謊話簡直成了笑話!



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