Saturday, November 04, 2006

Chen Interview with FT

Ironically, Kathrin Hille of the Financial Times interviewed Chen Shui-bian and FT had it up yesterday. Prior to the indictments...
Prosecutors are expected to publish their findings this month in an investigation of whether Mr Chen misused a presidential slush fund. Last month, prosecutors cleared his wife of allegations of influence-peddling, but the investigation confirmed she had accepted large amounts of gift vouchers, leaving the presidential family mired in controversy. Mr Chen’s son-in-law and a former close aide have been indicted on charges of insider-trading and corruption, respectively.

Nothing of this seemed to touch Mr Chen. Dodging a question on what damage the string of scandals under his government had done to Taiwan’s democracy and his political authority, he instead said he and his family had been treated unfairly because of what he called Taiwan’s excessive press freedom and a lack of responsible reporting.

Only when pondering his own historic legacy did Mr Chen admit some mistakes may have been made. “Even if my family members have made some mistakes, we all have to undergo legal scrutiny,” Mr Chen said. “Sometimes I feel ashamed and feel this is a loss of face. But isn’t this also to be cherished as a sign of Taiwan’s democracy and rule of law? Thus personal liabilities become everyone’s assets.”

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