Thu, Apr 16, 2009 - Page 1 News List

DPP calls on defense chief to resign

INTEGRITYThe son-in-law of the minister of national defense and a friend working for an arms firm have allegedly made improper attempts to win contracts

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday called for Minister of National Defense Chen Chao-min’s (陳肇敏) resignation over allegations a family member was involved in arms dealing.

DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) told a press conference that Chen should step down over allegations that his son-in-law had contacts with a domestic arms company.

“Chen promised to thoroughly investigate alleged bribery involving the promotion of generals. Shouldn’t he investigate himself and his family members first?” Tsai asked.

He said that if Chen’s son-in-law had connections to an arms company, the company would be in a position to win profitable military contracts.

The Chinese-language Next Magazine reported yesterday that Chen’s son-in-law, Mo Hsu-teng (莫頊騰), was good friends with Liu Cheng-chung (劉政中), who works at a domestic factory of a foreign arms company selling submachine guns and rifles.

The report said Mo and Liu had sought to use Mo’s influence in the military to win arms contracts.

It said that military officials in charge of arms procurement had complained about the matter.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀), a member of the Foreign and National Defense Committee, called on Chen to explain the accusations, but maintained that he had confidence in the minister’s integrity.

KMT Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) said Chen should demonstrate his integrity before launching investigations into other scandals within the military.

In a statement later yesterday, Chen said: “I have asked my family not to get involved in any affairs concerning defense interests ... I regret that the false report has seriously damaged my personal and family honor.”

Meanwhile, Banciao prosecutors yesterday led agents from the Investigation Bureau in raids on 15 locations related to a businessman named Chou Chih-kang (周志綱) and his business group.

Prosecutors said Chou was close to Lin Chih-chung (林治崇), who headed a group of businessmen who were indicted last week on suspicion that they won military contracts after bribing military officers with money and prostitutes.

They said Chou was head of another group that won military construction contracts in central and southern parts of the country.

Prosecutors questioned four construction contractors who won military construction projects.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY FLORA WANG AND AFP

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