Fri, Jan 18, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Eight legislators charged with accepting bribes

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Eight former and incumbent lawmakers from across party lines were indicted yesterday on charges of corruption after allegedly accepting bribes from the National Chinese Herbal Apothecary Asso-ciation in return for their endorsement of amendments to the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act (藥事法) in 1998.

DPP vice presidential candidate Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) was among those investigated in connection with the case, but he was not indicted.

"There is no evidence that Su accepted any bribes," said Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南), spokesman for the Special Investigation Panel of the Supreme Court Prosecutors' Office.

NOT A BRIBE

Chen said any donation of more than NT$300,000 (US$9,200) would be considered a bribe. Su accepted NT$100,000.

He added that Su had resigned as lawmaker at the time to campaign for the position of Taipei County commissioner. As a result, there was no proof that Su was in a position to accept a bribe, Chen said.

Those indicted are DPP legislators Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅) and Jao Yung-ching (趙永清), former legislators Chiu Chuei-chen (邱垂貞) and Lin Kuang-hua (林光華), KMT Legislator Hsu Shu-po (許舒博), former legislators Cheng Horng-chi (陳鴻基) and Liao Fu-peng (廖福本) and People First Party Legislator Feng Ting-kuo (馮定國).

Of those indicted, only Lee won re-election last Saturday.

Chen Yun-nan said prosecutors would seek 10-year sentences for Liao and Chiu, who they allege accepted bribes of NT$6 million and NT$10.1 million respectively. Prosecutors did not suggest sentences for the other defendants, leaving the court to make its own determination.

INNOCENT

Asked to comment, Liao and Jao protested their innocence.

Jao said he did not understand why he was being indicted for doing his job as a lawmaker.

Lee, meanwhile, said that prosecutors were not "careful enough" when investigating the case.

"I told them clearly during the questioning that I did not accept any money from the association. I do not understand why they would indict me without sufficient evidence," Lee said.

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