Ma denies wrongdoing in KMT assets sale in court case

2018/10/31 22:31:29 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九, second left) / CNA file photo

Former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九, second left) / CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 31 (CNA) At a court hearing in Taipei on Wednesday, former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) denied any wrongdoing in the sale of three Kuomintang (KMT) properties during his tenure as party chairman. Ma said he had handled the sale of Central Motion Picture Co. (中影), Broadcasting Corporation of China (中廣), and China Television Co. (中視) "strictly in line with law."

"I did not commit any crime, and I cannot accept the prosecutors' twisted interpretation of my words," Ma told the Taipei District Court.

"In my 30-plus years in politics, I remained law abiding and clean," he said, "I have never put a cent from the party asset sales into my pocket or taken a bribe from a buyer."

On July 10, Taipei prosecutors brought charges of breach of trust or money laundering against Ma and five others, including Chang Che-chen (張哲琛), former chairman of the KMT-controlled Central Investment Co.; Wang Hai-ching (汪海清), the company's former general manager; and Alex Tsai (蔡正元), former KMT legislator and director of the party's Central Policy Committee.

According to the indictment, Ma, Chang, Wang and Tsai "sold the party assets as a ruse to create a positive image of Ma and the KMT at a time when political parties were required to divest themselves of media outlets by Feb. 26, 2005 in accordance with the Radio and Television Act."

After a lengthy investigation, prosecutors said the KMT assets were sold at a loss of nearly NT$7.3 billion (US$233 million).

Meanwhile, the Taipei District Prosecutors Office said it had investigated the case in keeping with the principles of justice and fairness and it hoped that the related recordings and transcripts would be entered into the public record in accordance with the law.

(By Bien Chin-feng and Flor Wang)

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