Chen Shui-bian files complaint against KMT presidential candidate

Former President Chen Shui-bian filed a complaint Friday at the Taipei District Prosecutors Office, hoping that prosecutors bring charges against the three for harming his reputation. (CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has filed a complaint against three people, including Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), for defamation for accusing him of masterminding a high-profile shooting on the eve of the 2004 presidential election.

Chen filed the complaint Friday at the Taipei District Prosecutors Office against Han, former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and media commentator Sisy Chen (陳文茜), hoping that prosecutors bring charges against the three for harming his reputation.

The former president said it has been 15 years since he was accused by Ma and Sisy Chen of arranging his own shooting at a press conference several hours after the shooting occurred on March 19, 2004.

Yet Han has said during his campaign that the presidential secretary-general under Chen Shui-bian — Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) — arranged the shooting, the former president said Friday, calling Han’s allegations “unbearable” and a tactic “to milk A-Bian for election purposes.”

“There will be no justice in the world if I continue to refrain from taking legal action,” said Chen Shui-bian.

The shooting occurred on March 19, 2004, the day before the presidential election, as Chen Shui-bian was campaigning in Tainan for his re-election along with then Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮).

Two gunshots were fired, according to a police investigation, one cutting across Chen Shui-bian’s abdomen and the other injuring Lu on the knee.

Sisy Chen, who along with Ma was an executive member of the team campaigning for KMT presidential candidate Lien Chan (連戰), accused the former president that same night of setting up the shooting to gain sympathy votes in the election the following day, citing things she had heard from the hospital treating him.

The allegations continued after Chen won the election by a 0.22 percentage point margin, as the KMT-led pan-blue camp blamed the shooting accident for the defeat.

But a subsequent probe by law-enforcement departments found no evidence of Chen or of Chiou being involved in planning the shooting.

Han recently brought up the case during a policy platform presentation by Taiwan’s three presidential candidates on Dec. 27, in which he accused Chiou of having planned the shooting in 2004.

Chen said he was still reminded of the shooting from the scar left by the wound, which measured 11 centimeters long, 2 cm wide and 2 cm deep at the time.

“Whenever I see the scar while taking a shower, my heart bleeds,” he said.

Chen served as Taiwan’s president from 2000 to 2008 and was embroiled in corruption scandals that led to several indictments and a 20-year prison sentence. He was in prison until January 2015, when he was released on medical parole.