Opposition deems move a joke as team will only oversee the case - not solve it Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian has approved the formation of an independent committee to investigate the assassination attempt on the eve of the presidential election in March. The announcement should have been seen as a victory for Mr Chen's opponents - who have been demanding such a probe for months - but the opposition Kuomintang and its People First Party (PFP) ally questioned the powers that would be granted to investigators. They have vowed to form their own investigation committee with the aid of the legislature. Mr Chen invited Fredrick Chien Fu, head of the Control Yuan, the government's watchdog body, to chair the committee, which will have 11 to 13 members, including representatives of the opposition. 'The committee will be independent, impartial, fair and transparent, and will not be subject to any interference,' Mr Chen said. He and Vice-President Annette Lu Hsiu-lien were shot on March 19, the day before the island's presidential polls. The opposition claims the attack helped Mr Chen win votes and, after more than three months of investigations by outside experts, Taiwanese authorities have been unable to crack the case. Mr Chen said the committee would not interfere with other investigative efforts. Presidential spokesman Su Cheng-chang said the committee's main role would be to ensure the investigation was conducted properly. He said solving the case and catching the gunman was up to the police and prosecution investigators. The Presidential Office denied local news reports that Ms Lu - who has said she believes both shots fired were meant for her - pressured Mr Chen to form the committee. The opposition described Mr Chen's announcement as a joke, saying he was playing the roles of both player and referee. They also questioned his motive for setting up the committee, especially if it was not expected to get involved in the investigation. 'The opposition asked for an independent investigation committee in April, but his Democratic Progressive Party boycotted our motion at that time,' said Tseng Yung-chuan, head of the KMT's policy co-ordination committee. 'If he is sincere, he should have asked the DPP lawmakers to stop boycotting the motion.' PFP lawmaker Lee Hung-chun said Mr Chen had frequently used committees with limited powers to defuse criticism of his performance. 'The real purpose of the committee is to help the DPP win the year-end legislative elections,' he said. Meanwhile, the Control Yuan yesterday announced it had impeached eight sitting and former security officials over their response during the shooting.