Sun, Mar 03, 2002 - Page 2 News List

Prosecutors detain Chaochow chief on corruption charges

POLITICAL PORKAfter being sworn in as township chief, Wang Chi-feng was detained for allegedly accepting kickbacks from illegal construction companies

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Pingtung District Court (屏東地方法院) yesterday approved a prosecutor's request to detain Chaochow township Chief Wang Chi-feng (王志豐) for alleged corruption.

Wang spoke with police on Friday afternoon to answer pros-ecutors' questions regarding the allegations.

Pingtung Prosecutor Hsu Ying-hui (許英輝) asked for court approval to detain Wang immediately after the interview and the request was approved at 12am on Saturday.

Wang was re-elected on Jan. 26 as a township chief and attended a swearing-in ceremony Friday morning.

Hsu had summoned Wang twice before but he did not show up.

Hsu said that prosecutors have interviewed the owners of illegal construction companies as well as Wang's driver over the past month and the parties involved all indicated Wang was guilty.

During the swearing-in ceremony, Chaochow Police Precinct vice director Chen Chi-jung (陳志榮) led a team of 20 officers to the scene and monitored the proceedings.

Wang's friend Tsai Hau (蔡豪), an independent lawmaker, attended the ceremony.

"I hope that this is not a political issue," Tsai said. "He is my friend and I believe in him until the judge finds him guilty."

The KMT township chief first took office in 1997.

Wang was accused by pros-ecutors of abusing his position as a township chief by helping illegal construction companies win contracts for public projects with the township office and then pocketing the kickback money.

The alleged offenses took place in 1999 and 2000.

Wang was also convicted for spending government money to organize overseas trips for himself and his colleagues in 1996 when he was chairman of the Chaochow Township Residents' Council.

Wang was sentenced to five years and two months and his title as township chief was revoked on Sept. 20 last year.

Wang has appealed the verdict and the case is still before the courts.

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