Taiwan's Double Standard: Money, Money, Who's Got the Money Part I?

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Friday May 07, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

In a previous post you saw how Chen Shui-bian has been in jail for nearly two years on corruption charges concerning US$21 million from his eight years of presidency. The courts have yet not stated and/or proved just how much of that money is illegal and how much is rightfully his, according to the loose and vague laws concerning campaign donations. They are operating on the presumption that some amount of it (though they have not yet specifically proven it) is illegal and therefore they are justifying keeping him in jail. In the meantime, the prosecutors are also badgering, harassing, and interfering with the lives of many associated with Chen to try and get some one of them to create evidence for their case. Contrast that with the following that was just in the news about the infamous Chung Hsing Bills affair that broke just before the 2000 presidential elections.

In the year 2000, indicted James Soong deposited some US$7 million of questionable "campaign funds" with the court after he had been accused of embezzlement. Soong deposited the money and designated then Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lee Teng-hui as the person to withdraw the money. Questions immediately arise.

First, who does the money belong to? The KMT says it belongs to it, quoting that Lee Teng-hui as then KMT chairperson represented the KMT. On the other hand, KMT Legislator Lee Hung-chun, who formerly belonged to Soong's People First Party (PFP) says it belongs to Soong and Soong can claim it. Is Legislator Lee's former party loyalty hoping that he has a better chance to get a piece of that US$7 million pie if he says that?

The charges against Soong had been dropped (2001) after the 2000 election, then reinstated and again dropped in 2003 when Lien Chan then KMT chairman got Soong to join with him in a bid for the presidency. Of course, Soong had to agree to run as Vice-President under Lien this time and not against him for President as Soong had done in 2000 when he far out-polled Lien. Was Soong's acceptance to be under the Lien ticket a price for the dropping of the charges in 2003? The questions keep coming.

The next set of questions is two-fold. Who is entitled to the money? Is it the KMT's or Soong's? The KMT says that it will handle the whole matter in a transparent way and allow everyone to follow it. Can you believe them? Especially when you look at the next question.

More damning and unanswered still after ten years is the question where did the US$7 million come from? There has been no transparency or explanation on that. How was US$7 million floating around that Soong could put it in his accounts? And further, why after ten years, has no one been put in jail like Chen Shui-bian in this whole process? Why has no one associated with Soong, the PFP or the KMT been harassed, hounded, and jailed as those associated with Chen Shui-bian have been? All during these past ten years no one has even been detained and had their conversations recorded to supposedly prevent them from collusion and making up stories for the origin. Do you think this is bad? Wait for Part II on the Lafayette Frigate Scandal where the amounts go into hundreds of millions of dollars.