Chang dismisses claims of hidden agenda against Yu

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Premier Chang Chun-hsiung yesterday dismissed allegations that the prosecutors had a hidden agenda against the chairman of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, Yu Shyi-kun, while indicting him on corruption. In response to the Yu allegation that the corruption case against him was plotted by “our own people,” the premier said that he would never intervene into any investigation, and that he did not know what prompted the DPP chairman to make such accusations. Yu has offered to resign as DPP chief after he was indicted on corruption charges for allegedly mishandling his special expense accounts during his terms as premier and presidential secretary general. He was indicted along with Vice President Annette Lu and Presidential Secretary General Chen Tan Sun as prosecutors concluded a high-profile probe into alleged irregularities in the officials’ use of their special expenses. But the prosecutors did not press charges against DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh or his running mate Su Tseng-chang. Both have served as premier.

During a question-and-answer session at the Legislature, Kuomintang Legislator Lu Hsiu-yen said the “own people” remark might be referring to President Chen Shui-bian or the premier, as they could interfere with the investigation. “I firmly believe that if Yu really thought he was being set up by someone of our own, probably he would not think that it was me,” Chang told the lawmakers. “If the president could dictate the law enforcement bodies’ investigations, there would not have been the cases against first lady Wu Shu-chen, and the president’s son-in-law Chao Chien-ming,” the premier added. Wu and Chao are being tried in separate cases of corruption. Meanwhile KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou, who is being tried on corruption charges for mishandling his mayoral expense accounts while mayor of Taipei, expressed sympathy for the DPP trio over their indictments. In response to allegations that Hsieh and Su were cleared because of behind-the-scene maneuvering, Ma said he would not comment on that, as he did not have any proof. But he urged prosecutors to use the same criteria to judge all similar cases concerning the special expenses.