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No apology from mayor to police over driftwood incident

No apology from mayor to police over driftwood incident

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je said Saturday he would wait until the results of an investigation were in before apologizing to a precinct police chief whose removal he had demanded.
During a meeting Friday morning, the mayor was shown a picture of trees that had reportedly been illegally logged in the capital's Neihu District. He accused Neihu Precinct police chief Chang Meng-lin of failing to do his work properly and demanded him to be relieved from his duties.
By the end of the day however, statements surfaced about the trees not having been illegally logged but of being driftwood which could be legally picked up. As a result, Ko issued a statement Friday evening saying he would reconsider his demand for Chang’s removal.
Asked by reporters Saturday whether he needed to apologize to the local police chief, Ko said that Chang was not completely in the right either. The mayor said he would wait until the current investigation reached results before deciding whether or not an apology was necessary.
The “driftwood incident” has led to allegations and counterallegations between supporters and critics of the outspoken mayor. He was accused of behaving like an emperor for daring to ask the dismissal of a senior police officer without asking the officer’s superiors such as the National Police Agency.
Questions also remained about the nature of the wood, which reportedly originated in Taitung County, was hauled away in Taipei City’s Neihu District, and ended up in Sanyi, the Miaoli County town famous for its woodcarvings. There were also questions about the number of trees involved, with the number 17 being mentioned, and the identity of the people who had used the wood and who were described in the media as “mountain rats.”
Ko said that maybe he had a temper problem and had jumped to conclusions too rapidly, but he said he was still a mayor, not an emperor. He added he had accepted the advice of his city’s police chief, Chiu Feng-kuang, and would wait what the investigators unearthed about the case before making decisions.


Updated : 2021-05-12 06:58 GMT+08:00