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Ex-minister ordered to compensate Tsai over TaiMed case

2015/10/27 15:41:27

Christina Liu (劉憶如) (CNA file photo)

Taipei, Oct. 27 (CNA) A former Cabinet member was ordered Tuesday to compensate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), chairwoman and presidential candidate of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), for making a controversial allegation against her during her 2012 presidential campaign.

Christina Liu (劉憶如), former head of the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD), was ordered to pay Tsai NT$2 million (US$61,709) in compensation in a ruling issued by the Taipei District Court.

The case can be appealed.

Liu and other Kuomintang politicians attacked Tsai for her role in the government's investment in biotechnology company TaiMed Biologics Inc. in 2007, when Tsai served as the company's chairwoman.

The project was approved by the DPP administration while Tsai was vice premier in the first half of 2007. Tsai then stepped down from her post and became the company's chairwoman four months later, which the Kuomintang said violated revolving-door laws.

As the company's chairwoman, Tsai had her family invest in TaiMed to bridge a cash shortfall, and the KMT charged that Tsai and her family made an illicit gain of at least NT$10 million when it sold the stake not long afterward.

Prosecutors closed the case in August 2012 after no irregularities were found.

Tsai then filed a civil suit to seek NT$5 million in compensation from Liu for damaging her reputation.

Tsai said Tuesday that she hopes people will learn one thing from the incident: let elections be elections, and let political competition be political competition.

She said that when she worked in the government, she made some efforts to try to promote the development of Taiwan's biotechnology industry, but those efforts became the subject of political struggle.

The incident not only created a huge setback for the development of Taiwan's biotechnology industry but also caused many professionals to lose confidence in Taiwan, she said.

She expressed the hope that when making major policies in the future, people will put aside political ambitions and prioritize professionalism.

Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit but by mutual consent, that part of the trial has been put off until after the presidential election on Jan. 16, 2016. Liu wanted the trial to continue.

(By Paige Tsai, Lu Hsin-hui and Y.F. Low)