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Thu, Dec 27, 2001 - Page 2 News List

Phone call to police links politician to sex-VCD case

STAFF WRITER

The Chinese-language media reported yesterday that an unidentified person contacted prosecutors on Tuesday, claiming that a politician from Hsinchu was behind the recent sex VCD scandal.

Suspect Kuo Yu-ling (郭玉鈴) was acting under orders from the politician, the report quoted the man as saying.

The man was questioned by prosecutors afterward and the results led to Kuo being summoned a second time and later detained, the report said.

Prosecutors at the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office denied the report.

Kuo, a "spiritual growth" instructor with a US-based group named Avatar, was detained yesterday on suspicion of involvement in the creation and release of a secretly recorded VCD allegedly depicting a sexual encounter between Chu Mei-feng (璩美鳳), the former director of Hsinchu's Cultural Affairs Bureau, and married businessman Tseng Chung-ming (曾仲銘).

Kuo, a close friend of Chu, is believed to have had a falling out with Chu in August. The cause of the soured friendship is still unclear, although local media speculation has suggested a financial dispute and a love triangle.

Kuo, who had the keys to Chu's house in Tamsui, did not return them to Chu until September, the report said.

A detective agency has confirmed with prosecutors that Kuo had bought a pinhole camera and had it installed at Chu's house, the report said.

Investigators suspect Kuo may have installed the pinhole camera as early as July of this year, according to the report. The camera has apparently been removed since then and investigators are still looking into how and where the camera was installed in Chu's bedroom.

Kuo had also taken security tapes out of Chu's apartment complex twice in July, the report said.

Chu is also a former girlfriend of Hsinchu's former DPP mayor Tsai Jen-chien (蔡仁堅).

On Dec. 1, Tsai lost his re-election bid and Chu lost her legislative bid to represent the New Party in the Taichung constituency.

Meanwhile, the Hsinchu City Government was hit by fallout from the scandal after newly inaugurated KMT Mayor Lin Jeng-jzer (林政則) said the city's anti-corruption department was preparing a report into alleged irregularities in the creation of a special budget for "spiritual growth" courses for city officials while Tsai was in office.

Chu was one of the officials who attended Avatar classes taught by Kuo.

Lin also hinted that the courses were pushed through by a former high-level city official, adding that neither Chu nor Tsai was the official in question.

Lin appeared to be pointing the finger at former deputy mayor Lin Cheng-chieh (林正杰), who left Taiwan early yesterday morning. Lin's daughter told reporters yesterday that she did not know her father's destination.

The new Hsinchu mayor did not elaborate on how spending on the spiritual growth course violated regulations, but said the city government will not require its officials to attend any more spiritual courses.

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