Wed, Mar 06, 2002 - Page 1 News List

Six found guilty in NSB account probe

DERELICTION OF DUTY The government watchdog has named six people, among them two former national security chiefs, as responsible for failing to prevent embezzlement from a secret bank account

By Lin Miao-Jung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Control Yuan members, from left to right, Yin Shih-hao, Kuo Shih-chi, Lin Shih-chi and Chan Yi-chang, announce the government watchdog's findings concerning six former National Security Bureau officials yesterday.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

The Control Yuan yesterday found a senior adviser to the president and the secretary general of the National Security Council (NSC), as well as four current and former senior National Security Bureau (NSB) officials, guilty of dereliction of duty in their oversight of a secret NSB bank account.

Senior adviser to the president Yin Tsung-wen (殷宗文), a former director-general of the NSB, and Ting Yu-chou (丁渝洲), secretary-general of the NSC and former director-general of the NSB, were among the six found guilty.

The NSB issued a news release after the announcement of the Control Yuan's verdicts yesterday. It stated that the NSB respected the verdicts and that the Liu case happened because "the NSB did not have a sound administrative mechanism to monitor the secret intelligence budget."

It added: "We have tightened up our discipline and will push for the establishment of a commission in the Legislative Yuan to monitor the intelligence budget in the future."

The Control Yuan said that the six officials' dereliction of duty resulted in the embezzlement of over NT$192 million by the bureau's former chief cashier Colonel Liu Kuan-chun (劉冠軍). Liu was one of the six found guilty of dereliction of duty yesterday, and the Control Yuan also found him guilty of embezzlement.

Yin and current senior NSB official Lin Shih-yu (林四渝) were found liable on a majority 12 to 1 vote, while unanimous verdicts were reached against the others.

With the exception of the bureau's former chief accountant, Hsu Ping-chiang, (徐炳強) who has retired, and Liu, who fled Taiwan in September 2000, all those found guilty hold senior posts in the nation's intelligence agencies.

In their report, Control Yuan members Kuo Shih-chi (郭石吉), Yin Shih-hao (尹士豪), and Chan Yi-chang (詹益彰) -- who have been investigating the case since July 2000 -- said that the officials had neglected their duties because they had exercised insufficient vigilance over the secret account, giving Liu the opportunity to embezzle funds.

Kuo added at a press conference yesterday that the officials' dereliction of duty had not only resulted in the loss of government funds, but also, during Ting's tenure, had enabled Liu to flee, making the former chief cashier, who had served in the NSB for approximately 10 years, not only a fugitive but a potential security risk.

Liu was chief cashier in the NSB from 1998 to 2000, and was responsible during that period for the NT$3 billion secret account, which the NSB is believed to have used for intelligence work such as the covert lobbying of foreign politicians to support Taiwan.

After the release of the Control Yuan's verdict yesterday, Yin issued a statement saying that the bureau's "serious mistakes" were made after he left office.

"It is regrettable that the Control Yuan has not clearly apportioned individual responsibility," Yin said.

Yin was director-general of the bureau from 1993 to 1999.

The bureau's secret account first came to light in 2000 following reports alleging Liu's embezzlement of funds. President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) last month asked the NSB to turn over the secret funds to the national treasury.

Penalties for officials found guilty of dereliction of guilty include demerits and, in more serious cases, dismissal. The punishments are handed down by the Judicial Yuan's Committee for the Discipline of Public Functionaries.

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