Tue, Jan 29, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Lawmakers charged in dental association case

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Eight former and incumbent lawmakers from across party lines were indicted yesterday on charges of corruption for allegedly accepting bribes from the Taiwan Dental Association in return for their endorsement of the Oral Healthcare Act (口腔健康法) in 2003.

Those indicted were former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators Liao Pen-yen (廖本煙), Lee Chen-nan (李鎮楠), Lee Ming-hsien (李明憲), Jao Yung-ching (趙永清) and DPP legislator-at-large Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯), Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chang Tsa-mei (張蔡美) and People First Party (PFP) legislators Yang Fu-mei (楊富美) and Chiu Chuang-liang (邱創良).

Tsai Huang-liang's older brother, Tsai Chao-cheng (蔡朝正), was also indicted. Tsai Chao-cheng is an executive at a pharmaceutical company.

Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南), a spokesman for the Special Investigation Panel of the Supreme Court Prosecutors' Office, told reporters that another 33 former and incumbent legislators were not indicted because of a lack of evidence.

Chen said Tsai Huang-liang was accused of accepting NT$3.5 million (US$110,000) through his brother. Jao, Chang and Chiu allegedly received NT$1 million, while Yang, Liao, Lee Ming-hsien and Lee Chen-nan allegedly pocketed NT$500,000.

Chen said any donation of more than NT$300,000 constitutes a bribe.

He said the dental association proposed an oral healthcare act in 2002 which would allow dentists to receive subsidies from the Bureau of National Health Insurance.

Tsai Huang-liang in April 2002 submitted a draft of the oral healthcare act to the legislature, but a number of legislators from across party lines did not support the draft.

The association responded by bribing key legislators in return for their endorsement of the draft, prosecutors allege.

The law was approved in April 2003.

Jao and another seven former and incumbent legislators were earlier this month indicted by the Supreme Court Prosecutors' Office on suspicion of accepting bribes from the National Chinese Herbal Apothecary Association in return for their endorsement of amendments to the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act (藥事法) in 1998.

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