Court rules in favour of DPP’s Tsai in defamation case

TAIPEI, Taiwan (The China Post/ANN) - Taiwan presidential election front-runner and Democratic Progressive Party candidate Tsai Ing-wen was accused of exerting pressure on a state-owned agency to invest in a company while serving office in 2006 and 2007.

The Taipei District Court ruled on Tuesday that former Finance Minister Christina Liu should compensate 2016 presidential race front-runner Tsai Ing-wen NT$2 million (US$61,616) for a false accusation of Tsai’s involvement in the Yu Chang case.

Tsai was accused of exerting pressure on the state-owned National Development Fund to invest in Yu Chang Biologics Co. -- today known as TaiMed Biologics Co. -- while serving as vice premier between 2006 and 2007.

Tsai was accused by her Kuomintang (KMT) opponents of pocketing illegal gains after leaving her government post. She became the chairwoman of Yu Chang and profited by unlawfully selling company stocks, the KMT contended.

Besides Liu, incumbent vice president, and then-premier, Wu Den-yih and his wife also initiated the attack on Tsai, according to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairwoman.

Tsai filed civil litigation against Liu for defamation and asked for NT$5 million in compensation.

In view of the approaching presidential election, Tsai and the Wus had agreed to halt proceedings and to continue after the election. Liu opposed the idea and insisted on continuing the trial. The verdict was therefore handed down earlier.

Liu said yesterday that she will respond to the court’s judgment after receiving the verdict in writing.

Investigation found Tsai not guilty

The National Development Fund invested up to NT$800 million in the new biotech company and Tsai’s family earned NT$10 million upon leaving the firm’s management team, local media had said.

The issue turned into a simmering debate during the 2012 presidential election, in which Tsai also participated but lost to Ma Ying-jeou.

Tsai was exonerated from the charge in 2012 after the Special Investigation Division (SID) finished investigation. The SID said the competent authority was not the vice premier at the time but the Economics Ministry. The SID also did not find any evidence to prove that Tsai had coerced the government fund into investing in Yu Chang.

After the SID completed its investigation, Tsai filed a lawsuit against Liu and the Wus for violating the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Act. The three were relieved from criminal litigation, but Tsai pursued with civil litigation.

Industrial development should not be sacrificed: Tsai

Tsai said that in the future she hopes politicians will longer exploit the nation’s industrial development for political gain.

This not only hurts Taiwan’s biotechnology industry, but also marred the nation’s image as a suitable environment for business growth in the eyes of professionals, Tsai said.

Political wrangling should be avoided when deliberating major policy issues, Tsai said. The focus of the discussion should be on industrial expertise and know-how. Only by doing so can the government serve the public’s interest, the presidential candidate said.

(NT$32.44 = US$1)


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