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Sean Lien questioned about Ting Hsin

Sean Lien questioned about Ting Hsin

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Taipei City mayoral candidate Sean Lien was questioned as a witness by the Supreme Prosecutors Office Special Investigation Division Wednesday about the allegations Ting Hsin International paid off-the-books funds to President Ma Ying-jeou.
Talk show host Clara Chou alleged weeks ago that the embattled business group, which stands at the center of a wave of adulterated food scandals, paid NT$200 million (US$6.2 million) to Ma and his Kuomintang. The SID opened an investigation into the accusations, while Chou, Ma and his aides are also involved in separate legal action surrounding the case.
The SID summoned Lien, who is a member of the KMT’s Central Committee, to testify Wednesday morning. He left the prosecutors’ offices after almost two hours without speaking to reporters.
His aides reportedly expressed surprise at the summons, saying Lien himself also did not know why he had been asked to appear and what kind of questions he would face.
The SID reportedly wanted to discuss media reports from last month quoting Lien’s election campaign manager, KMT legislator Alex Tsai, as saying that party leaders had asked the Lien team not to make statements against Ting Hsin over the food scandals.
Lien reportedly told the SID that nobody had called him personally, but that KMT vice secretary-general Lin Te-jui had called a friend of his who later relayed the conversation to Tsai. According to earlier testimony, the talk concerned food safety in general but did not specifically mention Ting Hsin.
Chou initially made vague accusations against the “Ma team” in general, but on December 23 she specified for the first time that she meant the president himself. He sued her for aggravated defamation in his capacity as a private citizen.
Chou later also named other people she said were involved, including former presidential vice secretary-general Lo Chih-chiang and financier Benny Hu.
The list of witnesses heard by the SID so far includes Chou, Lo, Tsai, attorney Sung Yao-ming, detained Ting Hsin executive Wei Ying-chung, Taipei 101 Chairwoman Christina Sung, the KMT’s Lin Te-jui, People First Party official Liu Wen-hsiung, Democratic Progressive Party legislator Tuan Yi-kang, former presidential secretary-general Chen Shih-meng, former Academia Sinica President Lee Yuan-tseh and former National Security Council official Chang Jung-feng.
Wei is one of four brothers who control Ting Hsin, and he has been detained over the food scandals. The group, which is mainly active in the food sector, also holds a 37-percent stake in Taipei 101.
The DPP’s Tuan added accusations of his own to Chou’s statements, saying prominent businessmen in the electronics industry had donated NT$200 million to Ma’s 2008 presidential campaign. As a result, the SID also questioned a number of business leaders, including United Microelectronics Corporation honorary vice chairman John Hsuan, reports said.


Updated : 2021-09-18 00:24 GMT+08:00