Thu, May 25, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Science council deputy chief resigns after detention

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER WITH AP

The resignation of Deputy Minister of the National Science Council Shieh Ching-jyh (謝清志) has been approved by Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Government Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said yesterday.

Hsieh, who was detained by Tainan district prosecutors yesterday on suspicion that he profited illegally from an engineering contract linked to the high-speed rail project, submitted his resignation to the Cabinet yesterday morning.

According to Cheng, in his resignation letter Hsieh said that the allegations made against him were false and he believed that he would be proved innocent by the judicial system.

Hsieh said that he decided to step down as deputy minister because he didn't want to influence the normal operation of the council.

Cheng said that Su applauded Hsieh's resignation as it showed that Hsieh had the courage to face the judicial investigation and Su respected his decision.

Hsieh is suspected of having used his influence over the contract in exchange for monetary favors, a official from the prosecutors office said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment.

The project aims to reduce vibrations produced by the railway, addressing the concerns of high-tech companies in an industrial zone next to the rail track who fear that tremors from passing trains could damage their delicate products.

The high-speed rail line, which links Taipei with Kaohsiung, is scheduled to begin operating by the end of October.

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