Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Asia-Pacific
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-----------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-----------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Sport 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Wednesday, 5 January, 2000, 06:59 GMT
Taiwan corruption probe begins

Taipei skyline James Soong arrived in Taiwan 50 years ago


By Francis Markus in Taipei

Prosecutors in Taiwan say they will question officials over allegations of financial impropriety against one of the key candidates in the presidential election campaign.

The move comes after a month of political mudslinging and confusion.

The governing nationalist party (KMT) has turned its guns on the independent presidential candidate, James Soong, with allegations of embezzling party funds, tax evasion and money laundering.

The accusations centre on millions of dollars of party money the KMT says Mr Soong salted away in family bank accounts in the early 90s.

The details of the case have been aired in hours of live television coverage but there has yet to be a conclusive judgement on the different versions of events.

Mr Soong maintains he was entrusted with looking after the money by President Lee Teng-hui, his former political mentor.

Bitter feud

A feud between the two men culminated in Mr Soong deciding to run in presidential elections in March - against Mr Lee's anointed candidate, Vice-President Lien Chan - and being expelled from the party.

The Taipei district prosecutor's office now says it is to begin summoning finance ministry officials to report on the details of the financial impropriety allegations.

It is not yet clear whether Mr Soong himself will be called to appear.

Not only is Mr Soong's credibility now at stake, but also public perceptions of the KMT, in which he was once a leading figure.

In an attempt to promote a cleaner image, Vice-President Lien Chan announced at the weekend that the KMT intended to put the business empire which has made it the world's wealthiest political party, under the management of trusts.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Asia-Pacific Contents

Country profiles

See also:
05 Dec 98 |  Asia-Pacific
Taipei contest dominates Taiwan polls
30 Nov 98 |  Asia-Pacific
Battle of the ballot in Taiwan elections
18 Oct 98 |  Asia-Pacific
Hopes after five decades of hostility
19 Oct 98 |  Asia-Pacific
Gaps remain between China and Taiwan
05 Dec 98 |  Asia-Pacific
KMT defeats opposition challenge in Taiwan

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories