Taiwanese Journalists Camp Out

Taiwanese Journalists Camp Out

Foreign media keeps '24-7' vigil on quiet Potomac street.

An international scandal that could topple the president of Taiwan has been playing out on a quiet street in Potomac.

Huang Fan-yen, who serves as doctor and advisor to the Taiwanese first family, will be subpoenaed by the Taiwanese government when he returns to the country in July. He and others will be questioned about the first lady's alleged intervention in ownership and acceptance of gifts from a large clothing chain in Taiwan. Until then, Huang is staying at 10104 Limestone Court, where he claims to be receiving medical treatment.

"According to one of my neighbors who's Tawainese, these are top Taiwan reporters, like the Dan Rathers of Taiwan," said Janis Sartucci, a resident on Limestone Court. "Our street has been seen in Taiwan newspapers everyday.

"Then there's the everyday issue of having to live with reporters 24/7," she continued. "I said to my neighbor, 'This is getting a little creepy. Where are they going to the bathroom?' He lets them use his house."

Gerald H. Lin owns the home in question. Wife Carrie Lin said that Huang is her husband's classmate from medical school. She said that he is currently receiving treatment from her husband, and that he has not left the house since arriving.

"It was a stressful experience in the beginning because I was very concerned about the neighborhood — the neighbors were being very nervous," said Carrie Lin. "The first few days [the journalists] had a big truck and spotlight because they were reporting through satellite. Now the spotlights are gone so it's a little quieter.

"Still, the neighbors are a little annoyed because there are constantly five or six cars there, and on the weekends there are more," she continued. "Other people are curious, driving by to see what's going on."

Asked if Huang had any plans to speak with the Taiwanese reporters camped outside, Lin responded that he already made a brief statement to the press last Tuesday.

The president of Taiwan once pledged to resign if any member of the first family had accepted gift certificates from the company in question. A member of the Taiwanese legislature has a taped conversation with Huang that allegedly implicates the first lady. An attempt to impeach the president is already under way in the congress.