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Fri, Jan 14, 2000 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan Pineapple scandal widens

JUDICIAL MISCONDUCT Revelations of more alleged financial transactions could widen the circle of those implicated in the Taiwan Pineapple Corp controversy

By Irene Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Details of possible further judicial misconduct have been revealed in the wake of the Taiwan Pineapple (台鳳) scandal of last November.

DPP legislator Lee Wen-chung (李文忠) said yesterday that two more prosecutors and two former judicial officials could be implicated in the scandal.

Lee said that they had borrowed money from Lee Yu-hui (李玉惠), the person who allegedly brokered deals between the judicial officials and Taiwan Pineapple Corp to buy the firm's stock.

After an initial investigation into the allegations, the Judicial Yuan and the Ministry of Justice handed down punishments against the judicial officials involved and submitted the case to an investigation by the nation's official watchdog organ, the Control Yuan.

At the center of the affair was Lee Yu-hui, who has many friends in legal circles. She was said to have encouraged some judges and prosecutors who were her friends to buy Taiwan Pineapple stock and to have promised to pay compensation in case of any financial losses.

The incident first made headlines in November when a legislator revealed details of a posh banquet hosted by Lee in July 1998, during which a number of judicial officials were given information on the price of Taiwan Pineapple stock by the wife of the company's chairperson. This revelation later created considerable controversy.

To back up his new accusations, Lee Wen-chung released bank records of the alleged go-between yesterday.

He said that NT$500,000 was transferred to Lee's account by Prosecutor Ho Chun-ying (何俊英), NT$1 million by prosecutor Chen Wei-lien (陳維練) and some NT$17 million by the brother of prosecutor Lee Ming-pin (李銘濱).

The records also revealed that Lee Yu-hui received NT$1 million from Yang Kuei-sen (楊貴森), the judge who has since been removed from his post for his part in the scandal, and NT$500,000 from Chung Yung-sheng (鐘永盛), a retired judicial official who is now in private practice.

While the judicial officials yesterday said they had transferred the money to Lee Yu-hui, they denied that any wrongdoing was involved.

Chen, also accused of misconduct in November, tried to prove his innocence yesterday by displaying his own financial records.

Admitting that he had transferred the money to Lee Yu-hui's account in August 1997, Chen said that the money was to pay back a loan made to him by Lee a year earlier.

Ho, who now works at the department of government ethics under the justice ministry, also claimed to have transferred the money to pay back a loan from Lee.

Yesterday's revelations have raised questions over whether the judicial officials accused also engaged in transactions of Taiwan Pineapple stock.

The three prosecutors denied any connections to Taiwan Pineapple deals yesterday, saying the transactions between Lee Yu-hui and themselves did not extend beyond personal loans.

"Whatever I do, I have my name on it. That means I can take full responsibility for what I've done," Chen said.

Legislator Lee Wen-chung said yesterday that he feels that the prosecutors investigating the Taiwan Pineapple scandal have deliberately ignored the money deals he revealed yesterday.

"They've had all the information at hand while investigating misconduct of the judicial officials since last November. Why have they ignored these others?" Lee asked.

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