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Taiwan prosecutors investigate 3 National Development Fund investments
Questioning top players in Yu Chang case could start before election: Report
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2011-12-14 05:01 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Special Prosecutors Office Special Investigation Division has started investigating three past investments by the government’s National Development Fund, including the politically sensitive Yu Chang case, reports said Wednesday.

The ruling Kuomintang and the opposition Democratic Progressive Party have been fighting a war of words over when DPP Chairwoman and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen knew she would become Yu Chang Biologics Co. chairwoman several months after leaving the function of vice premier in 2007.

Tsai denies she was involved in the early 2007 decision by the NDF to invest in Yu Chang, while the KMT claims she is guilty of conflict of interest. The dispute reached a new level when Council for Economic Planning and Development Minister Christina Liu admitted Tuesday she got the dates wrong on documents about the case.

The Chinese-language United Evening News reported Wednesday that special investigators visited the NDF management offices late on Tuesday to browse and read all documents related to the Yu Chang case and two other related files. Since the cases were complicated, the investigators took materials back with them, the paper said.

In a first reaction, DPP lawmaker Tsai Huang-liang said the prosecutors were being used as a political weapon in the hands of the KMT government. Reports suggested the special division might start interrogating prominent former officials involved in the NDF cases before the January 14 presidential and legislative elections.

The government was mobilizing lawmakers, ministers and the judiciary for a joint full-scale attack against the DPP’s presidential candidate in the final month of the election campaign, the lawmaker said.

At the heart of the cases were attempts to manufacture an HIV/AIDS treatment drug known as TNX-355. The NDF reportedly rejected an application by a group with links to influential former KMT lawmaker Kao Yu-jen, but approved the relatively similar bid by Yu Chang within a short period of time, the paper said.

In 2008, the NDF agreed to invest NT$875 million (US$28.9 million) in the venture capital arm of the TaiMed Group. The group only came up with NT$70 million (US$2.3 million) of the venture capital’s total capital of NT$3.5 billion (US$115 million), yet it demanded three seats on the board, the United Evening News reported.

The investigators would comb through the NDF files related to the three cases and discuss the eventual occurrence of legal problems, the paper said. The special division would investigate the eventual involvement of public officials but was unwilling to release more details to the media, the paper said. CEPD Minister Liu later confirmed the investigators’ visit to the press, reports said.

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