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Yu declines to discuss role in victim release

TAIPEI--President Ma Ying-jeou's nephew, who helped secure the release a Taiwanese hostage in the Philippines, will not comment any time soon on his role in the woman's return to Taiwan, his publisher said Sunday.

Gene Yu caught the media's attention at a news conference in Taipei on Saturday, when the woman's brother thanked him publicly for his assistance in negotiating with the Abu Sayyaf militant group that had kidnapped Chang An-wei on Nov. 15.

In an attack by armed men on the Malaysian resort destination of Pom Pom Island, Chang's husband was killed and she was abducted and held for ransom in the southern Philippines, Taiwan investigators revealed at the news conference.

Yu did not make a statement at the news conference, but the fact that he is Ma's nephew caused intense media interest.

Business Weekly Publications Inc., which recently released a Chinese edition of Yu's book about his service in the United States military as a member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, said he does not wish to give any interviews.

“No comments will be made for the time being,” said the publisher, adding that Yu plans to take a break and stay in Taiwan for a while.

Since his retirement in 2009, the 34-year-old former commanding officer of the U.S. Army Special Forces, known informally as the Green Berets, has written three books under a pseudonym about his military career.

Born and raised in the U.S., Yu was stationed in Japan, South Korea, Iraq and the Philippines during his 12 years of military service, according to an earlier interview on a local TV program.

He was awarded two Bronze Star medals during his time in the U.S. military.

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Gene Yu (余靖), former U.S. Army Special Forces commanding officer and nephew of President Ma Ying-jeou, smiles for the camera in this photograph provided by Business Weekly ...

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