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Sat, May 27, 2000 - Page 4 News List

CSF refutes kickback allegations


A DPP legislator yesterday accused high-ranking officials with the Combined Services Force (CSF, 聯勤總部) of involvement in a kickback scandal, but the allegations were swiftly denied by CSF officials.

Parris Chang (張旭成), a longtime member of the Legislative Yuan's defense committee, accused a CSF colonel of taking kickbacks from civilian contractors involved in NT$1.89 billion worth of construction projects for areas seriously damaged by the 921 earthquake.

Chang accused Colonel Miao Pei-jung (繆培榕) of gaining illicit profits with the knowledge and support of three high-ranking superiors, including the deputy commander-in-chief of the combined services, Army Lieutenant General Wang Yi-tien (王詣典).

Citing anonymous whistle-blowers as his sources, Chang made the accusations at a news conference he called at the Legislative Yuan yesterday morning.

The allegations hit the headlines of the evening newspapers, prompting the CSF to hit back with a news conference of their own in the afternoon.

In addition to calling the accusations groundless, a CSF official said the force reserves the right to take legal action against Chang and others.

The official, who declined to be identified, said General Wang was very angry about the false charges and that if the general knew who leveled the allegations in the military were, he would definitely sue them for libel.

Yang is considered the leading contender for the job of commander-in-chief of the combined services when the incumbent, General Yang Te-chih (楊德智), becomes director of the Vocational Assistance Commission for Retired Servicemen.

"The Combined Services Force does not exclude the possibility that some people are trying to drag Wang down with a smear campaign. Similar incidents happened before to other military leaders at a time they were to be promoted," the official said.

The deputy chief of the General Staff, Air Force General Wang Han-ning (王漢寧), was hit with a smear campaign last year just before he was set to become a three-star general.

Another victim of an earlier allegation was the president of the National Defense University, Air Force General Hsia Yin-chou (夏瀛州).

"We must admit Wang's chance of becoming the head of the Combined Services Force will be affected by this incident even if the charges against him are not true," the official said.

Wang has worked as the chief of personal security for former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝).

In a news release, the combined services that it conducted a three-month investigation into the allegations against Miao and it is very certain that he had not taken any kickbacks associated with the post-quake reconstruction projects.

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