Tuesday, June 05, 2007

DPP heavyweights Avoid Questioning in Special Funds Cases

The Special Funds continue to wreak havoc among Taiwan's politicians...the Taiwan News reports:

The ruling party's 2008 presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and four other party heavyweights will not be questioned over the alleged misuse of their special allowances until July at the earliest, the Supreme Prosecutors Office's special investigation panel disclosed yesterday.

However, prosecutors will wrap up their probes into Hsieh's case before next year's presidential election, stressed Prosecutor Hou Kuan-jen, who is in charge of leading the investigations.

Prosecutor Hou should be a familiar name by now. He was that nice fellow who thought poor Ma Ying-jeou ought to be dealt with lightly:

Prosecutor Hou Kuan-jen, who was responsible for the probe, suggested in the indictment the judiciary deal with Ma lightly, noting that the former mayor was not fully aware of his misconduct.

The former Minister of Justice was unaware that taking state funds was a crime. Hope I can use that excuse if I am ever busted for embezzlement. Why was Hou so nice? Well, Hou is a good friend of once and future ordinary Joe Ma Ying-jeou -- Ma was the witness at his wedding. As we have noted times beyond counting, conflict of interest simply does not exist here. As a result, both parties routinely use the organs of government to advance their partisan political interests in blatant and unethical ways, reflecting deeper problems of a the lack of civil society here that are found at all levels. Prosecutor Hou should have recused himself from this case and Ma's ages ago. What a great example that would have been.....

One of the prosecutors made a statement to the press that gives some idea of the size of this effort:

Chen indicated that the panel has sent 25, 219, and 1,229 official letters to government agencies, financial institutions and private companies, respectively, requesting related expenditure information and accounting details as part of the probes.

Prosecutors, however, have thus far received only 20 to 30 percent of the information and documents they have requested, because some companies or institutions are still looking for related materials, Hou emphasized.

The prosecutor further indicated that the five cases are much more complicated than Ma's case, as these cases involved not only the alleged misuse of special allowance funds allocated to over 2,000 administrative chiefs at national and local levels, but Lu's case also involves the alleged mishandling of the state affairs fund allocated for the president's discretionary use.

Time for an end to the special funds and a general amnesty. What a waste of time and resources!

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