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Sun, Jan 16, 2000 - Page 2 News List

Video-gambling corruption case may be reopened

STAFF WRITER

Spurred on by the investigation into the Taiwan Pineapple scandal prosecutors yesterday discussed a possible new investigation into the 1996 Chou Jen-sen (周人蔘) corruption case.

Chou was an owner of an extensive network of illegal video-gambling parlors in Taipei who was convicted of bribing judicial and law enforcement officials to allow his video-gambling operations to stay open.

At the center of the case was chief prosecutor Chang Chen-hsing (張振興) and seven other prosecutors, suspected of having taken bribes from Chou.

Liu Wei-tsung (劉惟宗), a member of the Prosecutors' Reform Association (檢察官改革委員會), brought up the case at yesterday's meeting of the prosecutors' personnel review committee, citing new evidence of corruption.

The evidence was contained in the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau's records of a policeman questioned by Taiwan detectives in China.

The policeman acted as a middleman between Chou and the prosecutors and later escaped to China.

The questioning yielded evidence which was largely ignored in the initial trial, naming eight high-level prosecutors including Chang as involved in offenses ranging from dropping indictments against Chou and returning seized video game equipment, to investing in his gambling business.

Chang was initially sentenced to 10 months in prison but was acquitted on appeal.

At one point, the Ministry of Justice also sent Chang's case to the Control Yuan, Taiwan's top watchdog body, but the case was returned to the ministry several months ago.

After its next meeting on Wednesday, the prosecutors' committee is expected to send the case to the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office for a renewed investigation.

Liu and two other members of the Prosecutors' Reform Association also discussed the issue with Ministry of Justice Yeh Chin-fong (葉金鳳) yesterday during a meeting to push for the establishment of a special task force to work on the Taiwan Pineapple case.

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