Taishin Financial Holding Co., Ltd. said yesterday it was suing prominent Kuomintang lawmaker Chiu Yi (邱毅) for defamation and for harming its reputation by saying the group had paid off former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in return for taking over a state-owned bank.
The recent admission by Chen that his wife moved funds into overseas accounts has touched off allegations about the origins of the money.
Already known for his stream of accusations against the former president and his Democratic Progressive Party, Chiu this week repeatedly said Chen might have accepted money in return for selling off state assets to private financial groups. Chiu specifically mentioned the takeover by Taishin Financial of the Chang Hua Commercial Bank, of which the KMT lawmaker is a board member. The lawmaker also insinuated the group helped Chen and his relatives launder money.
The allegations have caused Taishin shares to tank, prompting yesterday's response. "We have reached the point where we can't stay silent anymore, so we hope the other side can stop," Taishin Financial President Keh Hsiao Lin told a news conference.
Chiu was abusing his privileges as a lawmaker and damaging shareholders' interests, Lin said.
Chiu reacted by calling Taishin's action predictable.
Financial Supervisory Commission chairman Gordon Chen said yesterday a two-day investigation had found no evidence of problems with financial reforms during the Chen period.