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Sat, Feb 17, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Indicted officials complain of abuse

STAFF WRITER

Tainan Mayor George Chang, left and Nantou County Commissioner Peng Pai-hsien, right, along with Hsinchu County Commissioner Lin Kuang-hua's assistant yesterday appealed to the Control Yuan, accusing prosecutors of violating human rights when handling their cases. All three local government leaders have been indicted for corruption.

PHOTO: LIN CHENG-KUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Nantou County Commissioner Peng Pai-hsien (彭百顯) and Tainan Mayor George Chang (張燦鍙), along with Hsinchu County Commissioner Lin Kuang-hua's (林光華) assistant Chen Wen-hung (陳文宏) complained to the Control Yuan yesterday of violations of human rights and judicial procedure when prosecutors were investigating their cases.

The three local government heads, all currently charged with corruption, yesterday morning made an appeal to Control Yuan member Lin Shih-chi (林時機).

The three said that prosecutors had leaked information to the media during the investigation, which is prohibited by law.

According to the three, prosecutors also violated the procedure for searching government institutions.

In the process, they said, investigators often illegally confiscated property and government documents that belong to the local municipalities.

"They would not return any of the detained property or documents to us, even though the detained objects are utterly unrelated to our cases," the indicted officials said.

According to the three, the official lists for the confiscated objects are not complete, and many items taken away by prosecutors are not listed at all.

They also charged investigators with using threats to force them into making erroneous statements, although there was no mention as to how this was done.

They also complained that their personal reputations, as well as the image of local governments, had been seriously harmed due to the prosecutors' misconduct.

"The prosecutors' ignorance of human rights has damaged the foundation of this democratic nation," the three said. "Hopefully, the Control Yuan can step in to right the wrongs in order to promote judicial reform in Taiwan," they added.

Lin yesterday said that the Control Yuan will accept the appeal and will start an investigation soon.

On Jan. 12, Nantou District Prosecutors' Office indicted Peng and asked for a 20-year sentence for corruption and embezzlement of funds earmarked for 921 earthquake victims. Peng was detained for nearly two months and was released on NT$2 million bail on Jan. 13.

Chang -- along with Tainan City Urban Development Bureau Director Tung Mei-chen (董美貞) and other municipal officials -- was indicted on Aug. 25 last year. Chang is facing a 12-year sentence for covering up the corrupt practices of his subordinates.

Lin Kuang-hua was also indicted for corruption and on Jan. 5 and faces a 10-year sentence. According to the prosecutors, Lin and his wife Huang Yueh-hung (黃月紅) tried to blackmail the Chung Kuo Institute of Technology (中國技術學院) for NT$3 million by threatening not to approve the school's construction license.

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