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Tue, Nov 21, 2000 - Page 3 News List

Premier travels to Nantou to cheer up county officials

CNA , TAIPEI

Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) inspected the Nantou County government yesterday in a bid to cheer up the staff after its magistrate Peng Pai-hsien (彭百顯) was taken into custody in connection with the embezzlement of donations earmarked for quake relief.

Chang, accompanied by Vice Premier Lai In-jaw (賴英照), said that he was worried about the negative impact of Peng's detention on reconstruction efforts.

Chang said he came yesterday to show that the central government is in solidarity with the grass-roots workers in the local government.

As the magistrate's case is now proceeding through the courts, Chang also asked the staff in the county to have confidence in Taiwan's judicial system.

During a raid on the commissioner's office last Monday, prosecutors seized a piece of paper on which Peng had ordered his assistant to destroy account books of a foundation chaired by Peng, sources said.

Prosecutors suspect that around NT$30 million in financial donations from the public to the county government's official quake-relief account had been transferred to the two foundations, the New Nantou Reconstruction and Development Foundation (新南投重建發展基金會) and Nantou County Construction and Development Foundation (南投縣建設發展基金會). Peng is the chairman of both foundations.

On another piece of paper, also seized, Peng ordered his aides to seek the intervention of higher authorities into the investigation of the case, sources said.

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