Inquiry says Taiwan's Chen faked shooting
An opposition-led inquiry into the election-eve shooting of Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian concluded on Tuesday that the attack was staged for sympathy votes, a finding the "presidential office" dismissed as ridiculous.
Chen won a second four-year term by a mere 0.2 percent margin a day after the March 19 shooting last year, in which Chen and his running mate Annette Lu were lightly wounded as they campaigned in an open jeep.
"The motive behind the March 19 shooting is to manipulate the election," said Wang Ching-feng, a spokeswoman for the Truth Investigation Committee, which was formed by the opposition-dominated parliament last September.
The committee tried to conduct an investigation separate from an official one into the shooting.
Chen's administration labelled it as unconstitutional and refused to cooperate.
Pointing to discrepancies based on a simulation of the event, Wang said the location of the two bullets found by police at the crime scene meant that they could not have caused the gunshot wound on Chen's abdomen.
"We determined Chen's wound was not caused by the lead bullet discovered. (The shooting) did not take place in that place at that time," Wang told reporters.
Chen has denied staging the attack and his office said the inquiry's conclusion was politically motivated.
"Without any concrete evidence, the report is totally unacceptable," Chen said.
Police have not identified the assailant after nine months of investigation. Their biggest breakthrough came in December when they arrested the man who they said made the bullets used in the attack.
The Nationalists had filed two lawsuits to contest Chen's election victory. Both were rejected by the High Court.
The Truth Investigation Committee sent a 150-page report to lawmakers and suggested parliament should use its power to sack Chen for refusing to cooperate in the investigation -- a move analysts say is unlikely to happen.