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Monday, October 02, 2006

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No indictment of Wu Shu-chen

President Chen's wife has been cleared in the Sogo vouchers case. Investigators found that she did accepted gift vouchers from a third party but that there was no evidence showing that she did so in return for help in a management struggle at Taiwan's most famed department store. As a result, prosecutors have not indicted her.

One of the biggest wheels on the corruption allegations against Chen has just come off. Still the appearance of impropriety remains strong.

[update]

There is a much more detailed article in the China Times now. Pacific Distribution Investment Co Chairman Lee Heng-lung withdrew gift vouchers worth NT$14.83 million from Sogo. Lee then gave Chen family doctor Huang Fang-yen vouchers through Huang's driver. Huang used the vouchers to make purchases totalling NT$2,190,500. He gave vouchers to the Chen family as gifts, and Wu Shu-chen and her two children made purchases totalling NT$277,000.

Chen's political enemies will insist that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that prosecutors were bought off. But the relatively small amounts involved highlight how quick the media and the rest of they baying pack were to rush to judgment that the entire Chen administration was rotten to the core.






5 Comments:

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Michael Turton said...

frickin' huge! The prosecutors are overwhelmingly Blue, too. No way this one has been cooked.

Still, nothing would have happened if she. had. just. said. no. Shit.

Michael

 
At 12:47 AM, Blogger Tim Maddog said...

FTV has been running the story in their scrolling newsbar. ETTV was asking people on the street "Do you think it's a fair result?" and only showing negative answers. CTI and TVBS are distracting viewers by constantly running footage in the background of an overturned bus carrying Chinese tourists. Other stations are focused on Chen supporters in Tainan who are trying to Shih's crowd (who don't seem to have the proper permits) from camping out at a Tainan temple (南鯤鯓代天府). Other than FTV, it's 100% spin.

The fact that Wu can't be indicted because the evidence is insufficient doesn't suprise me one bit. Chiu Yi, the king of groundless accusations, is still saying that Wu and Chen will be found guilty in the long run. Pertinent quote from the Bloomberg article Michael linked on his blog: "no concrete evidence to prove [Wu] has done things illegally." (The "third party," BTW, is a Dr. Huang who gave the certificates as a gift when each of her first two grandsons was born.)

For those who will cry "Unfair!" just remember that former president of the Executive Yuan, Hsu Shui-teh (KMT), once said, "The courts belong to us." ("法院是我們家[國民黨]開的.") If they "belonged to" either Chen or the DPP, the president wouldn't be under investigation, and if they said such a thing, the pan-blue/pro-China media would be all over them.

Tim Maddog

 
At 2:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the 1st paragraph, the statement that "Investigators found that she did accept NT$5 million in gift vouchers from a third party," appears to be incorrect. Investigators found the Chen family used about NT$277,000 in gift vouchers, as was stated in the 2nd paragraph.

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger Tim Maddog said...

A possible correction to my previous comment: Dr. Huang may or may not be the "third party." I can't tell who gets which ordinal number there.

To the anonymous commenter above: I don't see any disparity between receiving one amount and using another. Do I misread, or do you have another source that says something different?

Tim Maddog

 
At 10:55 PM, Blogger Tim Maddog said...

A correction to my second comment: I see now that none of the stories I'm reading mentions anything about NT$5 million.

If that came from the Bloomberg article, it's been subsequently removed. You might also want to update it, Feiren, since that would be about an 18x exaggeration of the NT$277,000 figure which seems to be the total involved.

Tim Maddog

 

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