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Former, incumbent Chiayi magistrates in alleged corruption scandal

2012/07/31 20:45:33

Taipei, July 31 (CNA) Prosecutors and Ministry of Justice investigators launched a search of Chiayi County Hall Tuesday and summoned Magistrate Chang Hua-kuan, and her predecessor, Chen Ming-wen, for questioning on corruption allegations related to a herb biotech park.

Apart from Chang and Chen, now a lawmaker, the prosecution also subpoenaed 58 others related to the NT$3 billion (US$100 million) investment project in the southern county that was implemented between 2003 and 2011, the Chiayi District Prosecutors Office said in a statement.

The prosecution said Chen, who was the county chief that promoted the construction of the herb biotech park, and Chang (a lawmaker when the investment project was proposed) are suspected of having taken bribes during bidding related to the project, in which developers were invited to run the park under the build, operate, transfer (BOT) system.

The preliminary investigation indicates that in the Chiayi case, the government and private sector were each to provide funding of NT$1.5 billion and a bidder is alleged to have bribed public servants to acquire a procurement deal from the local government for the biotech park project, the prosecution said.

During the search, prosecutors and investigators confiscated several computers and many documents from County Hall.

In response, Hsu Shu-fen, head of the county's Department of Information and Marketing, said the local administration was cooperating fully with the investigation.

(By Chiang Chun-liang, Huang Kuo-fang and Elizabeth Hsu)