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May 26, 2008

Mine, all mine!

KMT preparing to reclaim NT$240m from Taipei court (Taipei Times)

By Rich Chang STAFF REPORTER Monday, May 26, 2008, Page 3

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is preparing to reclaim the NT$240 million (US$7.87 million) involved in the Chung Hsing Bills Finance scandal involving People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) from the Taipei District Court, a Chinese-language newspaper reported yesterday.

The Chung Hsing Bills Finance scandal broke in 1999 when Soong was accused of embezzling millions of dollars during the time he was KMT secretary-general.

Part of the case involved allegations that Soong stole NT$240 million from the KMT and used it to buy US bonds in his son’s name. Soong has said the money was to be used as a gift for members of Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) family in the US and that he did not steal the money.

After news of the scandal broke, Soong attempted to return NT$240 million to the KMT, but then-president and chairman of the KMT Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) refused to accept the funds.

In January 2000, Soong asked the Taipei District Court to take custody of the funds, naming the payee as Lee.

The report in the Chinese-language United Evening News said because civil law stipulates that funds held by the district court are given to the treasury if a payee does not apply to receive them within 10 years, KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) and Soong recently discussed how to withdraw the money.

The news report said the KMT has asked its attorneys to look into whether Wu can apply to take back the money in his capacity as KMT chairman.

KMT Secretary-General Wu Den-yi (吳敦義) confirmed yesterday that the KMT chairman had been discussing the issue with Soong and Lee.

“I believe that the three will reach a consensus on the issue pretty soon,” he said.

Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih

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