Wed, Jun 26, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Investigators demand to see legislators' bank accounts

By Crystal Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

A panel of legislators who are probing alleged corruption by fellow lawmakers regarding sloppy construction work at the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant yesterday demanded that the accused allow them to look into their bank accounts to clear up the case.

Insisting that they are innocent, the three DPP lawmakers -- Liang Mu-yang (梁牧養), Cheng Tsao-min (鄭朝明) and Hsu Chih-ming (徐志明) -- all said they would try their best to cooperate.

But they reiterated their plea that their accusers must resign as lawmakers if their charges prove to be false.

The ad-hoc committee met yesterday for the first time after its formation earlier this month and suggested that the trio sign an affidavit allowing the panelists to look into their bank accounts.

PFP lawmaker Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋), one of the five investigators, said the move is necessary to help ascertain the truth. "We don't have the authority to do so otherwise," he said.

The controversy surfaced in mid-June when TSU Legislator Su Ying-kwei (蘇盈貴) claimed that fellow lawmakers from the ruling DPP had pressured the state-run Taiwan Power Co to award contracts for construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant to a favored firm.

Su said he had evidence, provided by China Shipbuilding Corp (中船), the government-owned company responsible for the project's reactor pedestals, to back up his charges.

The allegations were immediately corroborated by PFP Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅), who said he also received similar complaints from his constituents.

Liang, who has blasted the charge as baseless, said he welcomed the probe.

"I hope that this time the [legislature's] disciplinary committee can reverse its past image of being ineffective," he said. "For my part, I would try my best to cooperate."

Likewise, Huang Ying-chi (黃櫻桔), wife of Cheng, said she would supply all the documents asked for, to clear her husband's name.

"The panel may go ahead and suggest the information it needs and I will accommodate their requests to the best of my abilities," Huang said. "I only hope the matter can end as soon as possible."

Both called for the banning of their accusers if the investigation proves their innocence.

The ad hoc committee -- comprised of members from across party lines -- is slated to go to Kaohsiung next Tuesday to gather evidence and discuss the case again on July 4.

Seeking to ensure fairness, panelists also urged Su and Chiu to produce evidence to substantiate their accusations.

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