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Tue, Aug 01, 2000 - Page 2 News List

Control Yuan questions Chiayi officials in deaths

STAFF WRITER

Chiayi County Commissioner Li Yah-ching (李雅景), along with Chiayi County Fire Department Chief Hsieh Hsin-yung (謝新庸) and other senior Chiayi officials, were called in for questioning by the Control Yuan (監察院) yesterday.

Control Yuan members Chao Chang-pin (趙昌平) and Lin Shih-chi (林時機) interrogated Li and the other officials for three hours yesterday to try and clarify responsibility for the Pachang Creek (八掌溪) tragedy.

Earlier last week Li insisted that he had not been informed about the tragedy in time. However, he later volunteered to be punished and take responsibility as Chiayi County commissioner.

The Ministry of the Interior on Thursday forwarded Li's request for punishment to the Control Yuan for investigation. If the Control Yuan finds Li responsible for the tragedy, he will be given demerits or will be dismissed from his post in accordance with the Law on Discipline of Civil Servants (公務人員懲戒法).

Although Li is requesting punishment for himself, he stressed again after yesterday's questioning that it is somewhat unfair to blame him for the rescue delay since he was not informed by his staff in time.

Li also said that he had explained everything to the Control Yuan members already and believed that the investigation had helped to clear him of responsibility in the incident.

Meanwhile, the tragedy has started a battle between Li and his long-time political opponent, Minister of the Interior Chang Po-ya (張博雅), who has severely condemned the Chiayi County commissioner and the Chiayi County Fire Department over the past few days.

Chang believes that the local rescue services in Chiayi County should take most the blame for the tragedy.

She also believes the county commissioner should be heavily punished since he is the administrative chief of Chiayi County.

"Where was the Chiayi county commissioner during those two hours?" Chang said.

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