Former National Science Council deputy minister Hsieh Ching-chih (謝清志) has been indicted on corruption charges for allegedly collaborating with a private company to profit from a construction project, prosecutors said yesterday.
Hsieh was accused of helping his friend Hsu Hung-chang (許鴻章) win a contract for a construction project in an industrial park in southern Tainan County to reduce vibration from the high-speed rail line affecting the park.
Prosecutors sought a 15-year jail term and a NT$30 million (US$920,000) fine for Hsieh and a 12-year jail term and a NT$500 million fine for Hsu, who was charged with violation of company law.
Hsu was also asked to return the NT$3.4 billion of illegal profit.
Eight others were also indicted for graft and bribery in the case, including another council official and the seven members of the project's evaluation committee.
Hsu's firm won the bidding for the NT$8 billion project in 2002 and later contracted other firms to carry out the construction, which cost him NT$4.6 billion.
However, the project, aimed at reducing the impact of the high-speed bullet train when it passes by the industrial park occupied mainly by high-tech companies, was criticized as ineffective.
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