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Officials, professors detained in local government corruption case

2012/08/02 16:43:45

Taipei, Aug. 2 (CNA) Prosecutors in southern Taiwan detained two Chiayi County officials, a businessman and three academics Thursday on charges of bribery and violating government procurement law.

All six are suspected of involvement in a county government bidding on an industrial park project and a garbage disposal contract, in which officials stand accused of leaking critical information, including a list of academics hired to screen the qualifications of the various bidders.

In connection with the alleged corruption case, Chiayi Magistrate Chang Hua-kuan and her predecessor, Chen Ming-wen, now an opposition Democratic Progressive Party legislator, were questioned by investigators and later released on bail of NT$3 million (US$100,129) and NT$1 million, respectively, a day earlier.

Conspicuous on the list of detainees is Chang Ying-chi, a sister of Magistrate Chang who worked as Chen's secretary during his tenure as magistrate and who is now a deputy secretary-general of the county's trade and investment promotion association, a non-profit organization partly funded by the county government.

Also taken in was Chiu Feng-ming, an official of the county government's department of overall planning.

Both Chang Ying-chi and Chiu have been charged with taking bribes in violation of their official duties and breaking the government procurement law.

Businessman Yeh Ya-chiang was detained on charges of giving bribes and three scholars, also taken into detention, are accused of taking bribes.

The three are Wu Ming-chun, director of the Department of Technology Management of the Open University of Kaohsiung; Professor Lou Chi-chung of the Institute of Environmental Engineering of National Sun Yat-sen University; and Professor Lin Jui-min of the Department of Safety Health and Environmental Engineering of National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology.

Their schools said they were acting their private capacities unrelated to their respective school authorities, but added that substitutes will be assigned to cover their classes so that students' interests will not be affected.

The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office said 13 prosecutors and nearly 250 investigators have searched and questioned 13 people suspected of involvement in the case.

The other seven who were not detained are businessmen and academics, who have been freed on bail ranging from NT$200,000 to NT$300,000.

(By Chen Chao-fu, Chang Che-fon, Huang Kuo-fang and S.C. Chang)
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