Thu, Mar 07, 2002 - Page 4 News List

Lo Ming-tsai complains about prosecutors' raids

LOOKING FOR PROOF The KMT legislator condemned the raids saying that both the SWAT team and police scared his grandmother and aggravated her ill health

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

KMT legislator Lo Ming-tsai (羅明才) yesterday condemned as "improper" raids carried out on Monday and Tuesday by prosecutors and police officers of his family's offices and residences in pursuit of evidence against his father, former lawmaker Lo Fu-chu (羅福助).

"Hundreds of SWAT team officers surrounded my residence," he said, addressing Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) at the Legislative Yuan's Judicial Committee meeting yesterday morning, following the minister's routine briefing of the committee.

Lo was referring to the raid on the family's home in Hsintien.

"Do prosecutors usually do this to a person who is charged with fraud, breach of trust and usury? Is this normal? Well, I don't think so. Their actions also scared my grandmother and aggravated her ill health," he said.

Chen replied that prosecutors were just doing their job and the process was totally legal.

"The prosecutors had a search warrant issued by the Taipei District Court when they carried out the raids on Monday and Tuesday," Chen said.

"I am sorry if the raid disturbed members of Lo's family. It's my understanding that our officials were very polite and tried to be as quiet as possible. A man at the scene, however, who claimed to be a lawyer, yelled and was rude. I think this man was the one who scared Lo's grandmother and was the person whom Lo should blame," Chen said.

Video footage of the raid which has been broadcast by television stations, clearly shows a man resembling Lo Fu-chu's lawyer, Chuang Hsiu-ming (莊秀銘), shouting to prosecutors, "I represent the Lo family and this raid is illegal."

Prosecutors from the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors' Office and police raided the Lo family's 11 offices and residences in Taipei City, Taipei County and Taichung City in search of new evidence to support charges of fraud, breach of trust and usury against the elder Lo.

Spokesman for the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors' Office, Shih Liang-Po (施良波) told the Taipei Times yesterday, "We received a tip-off that Lo has something in his possession which will support the charges against him."

He added, "We found an important notebook containing Lo's financial records at the Hsintien home."

Lo Ming-tsai, formerly a member of the legislative Finance Committee, joined the Judicial Committee -- which his father once headed -- after the inauguration of the new legislature on Feb 1.

The senior Lo was charged with several offenses last October in connection with the alleged embezzlement of funds from his former company, Tashin Securities (大信證券).

He is also awaiting trial on separate assault and attempted extortion charges.

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