Sun, Jan 22, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Kaohsiung prosecutor detained

PLAYING BOTH SIDES:Prosecutors said Ching Tien-po admitted using his wife’s name to invest in a mining business in Malaysia, but said that was in no way illegal

By Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporter

A Greater Kaohsiung prosecutor and his wife were ordered detained by judges yesterday for alleged involvement in corruption.

The Greater Kaohsiung District Court yesterday morning ordered the detention of Kaohsiung prosecutor Ching Tien-po (井天博), his wife, Peng Tsung-mei (彭宗美), a man named Huang Yi-hsin (黃益信) and a woman named Sun Ya-hui (孫雅慧).

Prosecutors said they suspected that Ching, who was in charge of an investigation into the alleged production and sale of illegal diet pills by Sun in September 2010, declined to prosecute her in return for a share in a tin mine business in Malaysia.

Prosecutors said Ching, who was aware Sun was a Malaysian-Taiwanese and that her family ran a tin mine in Malaysia, asked to invest NT$15 million (US$500,000) in the business in his wife’s name. He has since made more than NT$10 million from the investment.

More than 80 investigators on Friday raided 19 locations nationwide and summoned a total of 18 people for questioning.

The investigation was launched after Sun, who was arrested as the searches were conducted, arrived in the country on Thursday.

Investigators said they had been monitoring Ching for more than two years, and during that time he and his wife had gone on several all-expenses-paid trips to Malaysia.

Investigators said they also suspected that Ching received pay-offs and other favors from individuals he had been investigating, including free nights out at hostess clubs.

Prosecutors said they had looked into several cases involving Ching, and expected him to face a long jail sentence if convicted on any of the charges.

During a hearing to review -Ching’s case yesterday morning, prosecutors said he admitted using his wife’s name to invest in the mine business, but said that doing so was perfectly legal. He also denied having received bribes or engaging in any other practices that could be construed as corrupt.

The Ministry of Justice, which has pledged to clean up the nation’s justice system, including corrupt prosecutors and judges, said Ching had been one of the top targets of its campaign.

Once the judges granted the prosecutors’ request to detain -Ching, the ministry announced that he was suspended from his post with immediate effect.

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