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Mar 5, 2009

Chen & Koo

There is an article in the Taipei Times today about Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) questioning the reliability of Chinatrust Financial Holding Co vice chairman Jeffrey Koo Jr's (辜仲諒) testimony.

First, Koo flew back to Taiwan to give this testimony with no fear of arrest, apparently in some sort of deal with the prosecutors though everyone denies it. Second, Koo seems to have been willing to fabricate testimony.

The article lays out Koo's statements and involvement in the case:

Koo said he introduced Tsai Ming-chieh to Taiwan Cement Group (台泥) chairman Leslie Koo (辜成允). Prosecutors allege Chen received kickbacks from the sale of a plot of Leslie Koo-owned land in Longtan (龍潭), Taoyuan County, to the Hsinchu Science Park Administration.

After the deal was completed, [First Lady] Wu allegedly told Jeffrey Koo: “You owe me NT$400 million [US$11.4 million]...."

He said that ever since Chen became mayor of Taipei, Chen would tell him the “big picture,” while the former first lady would tell him the actual amount of money to be paid.

“The president would never tell you how much money he wants,” he said.

Prosecutors allege that the Koo's Group had secured billions of NT dollars in kickbacks from selling land to the government for the development of an industrial park after giving NT$400 million to Chen and his wife.

Wu has admitted taking NT$200 million and insisted it was a political donation.
OK, now for Chen's strongest objections:
Chen said Jeffrey Koo should not be a witness, but a suspect, because he is heavily involved in the case. He also questioned the validity of Koo's testimony and suspected that prosecutors asked leading questions to produce the answers they wanted. He added that prosecutors violated protocol by revealing the testimony of others to Jeffrey Koo.
You may be wondering, "what testimony was revealed?" And while I can't tell you the specifics of that, there was some very revealing information on this very topic not that long ago. While watching FTV, I saw something and a Google search turned up the article I was looking for:
Yesterday Chen's office released the testimony of Koo from November 4th... Prosecutor Chu Chao-liang (朱朝亮) said to Koo: "How about we first chat about some details of the case, I want to understand first and then I will tell you what other [witnesses] have said, and then we can [compare and decide] whether or not the testimony is correct."

Chen's office said this shows the special prosecutor was obviously attempting to lead the witness, and that later, Chu also said: "The amount of 400million is something you ought to say. You think about it, because it has already been a long time [since this happened]. At least we are sure that this is what you said to [Taiwan Cement Group (台泥) chairman] Leslie Koo (辜成允), this is [the amount] you mentioned to Leslie Koo."
Most damning of all?
Prosecutor Wu Wenchung (吳文忠): [responding to a question from Koo] "Yes, otherwise it will be exhausting later. If we can, we'd like to finish [your testimony] today."
Prosecutor Chu: "Take your time thinking about it."
Jefferey Koo: "I understand what you mean. I need to at least help, I must avoid being more of a hindrance than a help."
Chu: "You must avoid being more of a hindrance than a help, [otherwise] [the case] will be wrecked."
Now I haven't heard the tape of that, and I'm having trouble verifying if what Chen's office released was in the official evidence (that would seem insane), so can I get some help on confirming the validity of this? Because if so, I think you really do have to throw out Koo's testimony all together.

1 comment:

Adam said...

The same same Taipei Times article you mentions, quotes KMT Legislator Chiu Yi threatening to extend Chen Shui-bian's detention if his office holds a press conference to highlight the injustice of the case. Doesn't anybody think this is wrong. Chen shouldn't be punished because his office holds a press conference and where does Chiu yi get so much power that Chen Shui-bian's continued detention is up to him?