Wed, Jun 04, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Chao must remain in detention

DENIED:The Farglory chairman is to be detained for two months pending investigation. Meanwhile, military housing projects won by Farglory are being reviewed

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Colonel Lin Yao-tsung, director of the Ministry of National Defense’s Military Family Service Department, comments on Farglory Land Development Co’s involvement in military family village building projects in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The Taiwan High Court early yesterday morning rejected an appeal by Farglory Land Development Co (遠雄建設) chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄) to be released on bail, meaning he will be detained for two months pending investigations and his likely indictment over bribery allegations.

The Taipei District Court on Monday ordered that Chao and Farglory manager Wei Chun-hsiung (魏春雄) be detained after the Taiwan High Court on Sunday overturned the district court’s decision to release Chao on NT$5 million (US$166,400) bail and Wei on NT$1 million in an investigation over allegations that they bribed a local government official in connection with a development project in Taoyuan County.

The pair filed appeals against the decision, but the High Court said in a ruling yesterday that Chao, 69, and Wei, who are both charged with serious offenses, could conspire or destroy evidence if they are released.

Chao and Wei face charges of giving a NT$16 million bribe to then-Taoyuan County deputy commissioner Yeh Shih-wen (葉世文) through retired professor Tsai Jen-hui (蔡仁惠) before bidding for a public building contract, which Farglory subsequently won in April with a NT$1.3 billion tender.

Chao’s attorney, Chou Tsan-hsiung (周燦雄), speaking outside the Taipei Detention Center yesterday morning, where he was visiting Chao, said that his client apologizes for the furor caused by the case and that Chao denies that it was common practice for him to offer bribes to government officials.

Chao admitted to prosecutors that he was forced to pay the money so as not to “make it difficult for everybody,” his lawyer said.

Chou declined to explain what Chao meant by “everybody.”

In a statement issued through his lawyer, Chao said he did not know who had received the money, but admitted that it had been offered through an intermediary, Tsai.

Through his lawyer, Chao said that he is willing to accept the Taoyuan County Government’s decision to terminate its contract with Farglory Land Development Co over the Taoyuan Bade Heyi Residence project, adding that he would not file a civil suit against the county government.

Chao denied press reports that he had instructed a subordinate to bribe public officials when necessary, Chou said.

Several media outlets reported over the weekend that Chao had told a colleague: “For this kind of thing, it’s best to throw money at it.”

Chao “has never said anything like that,” his lawyer said.

Tsai and Yeh were taken into custody on Saturday after millions of New Taiwan dollars in cash were found in Yeh’s home and office.

Meanwhile, Colonel Lin Yao-tsung (林耀宗), director of the Ministry of National Defense’s Military Family Service Department, told a press conference yesterday that the Ministry of Interior’s Construction and Planning Agency has released for tendering 52 military family village projects for reconstruction and development, five of which Farglory has won.

Lin said that the agency has started reviewing the five projects, and that if the agency finds any flaws or illegality in the projects, the ministry will cancel the bids.

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