Wed, Apr 11, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Prosecutors indict Tainan mayor

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Tainan Mayor Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財), a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member, was indicted yesterday by prosecutors for his alleged involvement in a construction scandal. The prosecutors requested a 12-year prison sentence.

"Hsu has been charged with corruption and violations of the Government Procurement Act (政府採購法)," Tainan District Prosecutors' Office spokeswoman Kuo Chen-ni (郭珍妮) told a press conference.

Kuo said Hsu was in charge of a construction bid for a Tainan business center parking lot.

Sun-Yu Construction Co (尚禹營造公司) won the contract with a bid of around NT$190 million (US$5.7 million). The Government Procurement Act only allows for an increase of 50 percent to the successful tender price, or about NT$95 million, but Hsu gave the construction company an additional NT$220 million to complete the work, Kuo said.

Hsu violated the law by favoring the company's bid and authorizing the payment, Kuo added.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Tainan City Councilor Hsieh Long-chieh (謝龍介) broke the scandal last May during a council meeting and then handed details of the case to the Tainan District Prosecutors' Office, accusing Hsu and officials of Sun-Yu Construction of corruption.

Then, last October, prosecutors raided the Tainan City Government building and Sun-Yu offices.

Three Tainan government officials and six officials from Sun-Yu were also indicted yesterday on charges of corruption.

Hsu told reporters that he was innocent. He said the construction project was delayed for years before he took office, so he personally took charge of the case in the hope the project would be completed as soon as possible.

He said the project was clean.

Tainan prosecutors last month decided against indicting Hsu following an investigation into his usage of his mayoral special allowance, with Hsu at the time thanking prosecutors for clearing his name.

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