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.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
RECEIVING TREATMENT: President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang visited former president Lee Teng-hui yesterday morning Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday rebutted speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had died a day earlier, saying that he was weak, but receiving treatment. The hospital said the 97-year-old Lee was not in good condition and needed ongoing care, adding that if there are any changes in his condition, it would make those public. The comments came after rumors emerged online on Tuesday that Lee had died after being hospitalized since early February. Soon after the unsubstantiated rumors emerged, reporters started flocking to the hospital seeking confirmation. Lee was admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Feb. 8 after choking while drinking
ROAD TO HISTORY: When Lee Teng-hui joined the KMT, the likelihood of a Taiwanese becoming ROC president, much less its first directly elected one, was hard to imagine Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was born on Jan. 15, 1923, in the farming community of Sanshi Village, Taihoku Prefecture — now New Taipei City’s Sanzhi District (三芝) — during the Japanese colonial era, and rose to become mayor of Taipei and not only the Republic of China’s (ROC) first Taiwan-born president, but its first directly elected one as well. Educated in the Japanese educational system of the time, Lee, who spoke Japanese, Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Mandarin and English, won a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. He earned a bachelor’s