Sat, Dec 11, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Yunlin government chief arrested by the side of the road

LOST, FOUND Chang Jung-wei was thought by some to have fled to China, but yesterday he was found after a vehicle was pulled over in Yunlin

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Fugitive Yunlin County commissioner Chang Jung-wei (張榮味) has been arrested and is being questioned by prosecutors, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said yesterday.

At press time, Chang was being questioned by Yunlin Prosecutor Tsai Chi-wen (蔡啟文) at the bureau's central headquarters. He had been arrested earlier in the day when a car in which he was traveling was stopped in Yunlin County's Linnei Township.

Chang was being sought by Yunlin prosecutors as part of an investigation into the Linnei Township incinerator construction scandal.

A court had already sentenced Chang to 12 months in jail for bribery during the 1994 election for the Yunlin County Council speakership. That case is under appeal at the Supreme Court.

During a break in questioning, Chang told reporters that he was innocent and asked his constituents to continue supporting him.? He said he had nothing to do with the case.

Chang's sister, Chang Li-shan (張麗善) who is running for a seat on an independent ticket in today's legislative elections, yesterday told reporters that her brother had told her he would "clarify his situation" on Dec. 20. She was in tears when she spoke with the media, saying she felt helpless over her brother's arrest.

She said her brother was innocent and that ballots cast for her would be proof of his innocence in the matter and ensure that justice was served.

She asked that the investigation into her brother be fair and unbiased.

The investigation into the incinerator scandal began in June, when prosecutors received a tip-off from an anonymous informant who claimed that Yunlin government officials -- including Chang -- had accepted a substantial bribe during the tendering process for construction of the incinerator.

In July, Linnei Township Mayor Chen Ho-shan (陳河山) admitted that he had accepted a total of NT$18 million in bribes from contractors attempting to ensure that the construction contract was granted to them.

Chang went into hiding, and law enforcement officers believed that he had fled to China. His family, however, insisted that Chang had remained in the country, which was seemingly confirmed yesterday when Chang was arrested.

An arrest warrant was issued after Chang failed to answer prosecutors' summons on three occasions.

Chang's whereabouts were unknown from Aug. 13, when prosecutors and bureau special agents first raided his office and residence while investigating the incinerator scandal.

Prosecutors said Chang is in a difficult position in this case because witness testimony is decisively against him.

During a press conference late last night, police said they had arrested Chang after pulling over a car in which he and a few friends were traveling.? He was arrested at 5pm and brought to police headquarters for questioning at around 7pm.

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