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Anti-corruption agency to open on Wednesday

2011/07/19 19:26:27

Taipei, July 19 (CNA) Taiwan's first exclusive anti-corruption government agency will be officially established Wednesday, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) said Tuesday.

The Agency against Corruption (AAC) under the MOJ will be inaugurated Wednesday and President Ma Ying-jeou is scheduled to attend the opening.

Chou Chih-jung, previously a counselor at the MOJ, will head the agency.

The agency's aim is to fight corruption, raise the conviction rate of corruption cases and protect human rights, Chou said.

The body consists of a staff of 180 people, including ethics officers and investigators selected from among the government ethics system, investigative agencies and police officers.

The employees include ethics officers who participated in the investigation of the Nangang Exhibition Hall scandal in 2008 in which the ex-minister of Interior Yu Cheng-hsien was given a two-years' imprisonment but suspended for five years.

Some of the new agency's investigators worked in another scandal earlier this year in which former judges took bribes collectively and were sentenced to prison for up to 20 years.

The ethics officers will be sent to local government organizations to look for evidence of possible corruption cases, Chou said.

The agency's investigators will be integrated with law enforcement and will look into cases once they receive tips from the ethics officers, Chou said.

The new head of agency said the cases will then be handed over to prosecutors.

The legislature approved the anti-corruption agency in April.

(By Tang Hsiao-tien and Jamie Wang)