Tue, Oct 07, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Prosecutors search KMT legislator's offices

STAFF WRITER

Police and prosecutors seize documents and a computer from the office of KMT Legislator Ho Chih-hui in Miaoli City yesterday.

PHOTO: CHANG HSUN-TENG, TAIPEI TIMES

Prosecutors yesterday searched KMT Legislator Ho Chih-hui's (何智輝) offices in Taipei and Miaoli in connection with a suspected illegal bank loan taken on inadequate collateral while Ho was Miaoli County commissioner, Chinese-language media said.

The prosecutors searched 10 locations, including Ho's constituency office in Miaoli and the house of Shihtan Township chief Ku Yuan-yu (古源毓), who was a partner in the development project. Ho's other offices in Taipei were also raided.

Prosecutors discovered the case while investigating another corruption case involving the acquisition of a tract of land in the Hsinchu Science-Based Industrial Park, the report said.

Prosecutors suspect that Ho was involved in an illegal NT$1.1 billion bank loan taken without adequate collateral during the Chiuchun development project in Miaoli City. Prosecutors suspect Ho gained more than NT$200 million for brokering the loan deal.

Police have also summoned Ku's father, Ku Shih-jung (古石榮), for questioning.

Ku Yuan-yu's family members claimed that his father merely served as a front man in the development project and his investment in it was minimal.

Ku Yuan-yu said that Ho bought a tract of land under his father's name more than a decade ago. The land later became the site of the Chiuchun project.

Ku Yuan-yu told reporters yesterday that his father merely "lent" his status as a farmer to Ho so that Ho could buy the land.

Prosecutors have also summoned officials from the Miaoli County Government.

Ho has not yet been summoned for questioning.

As a legislator, Ho is protected by the constitutional immunity that shields him from prosecution while the Legislative Yuan is in session.

Ho is also being investigated for suspected influence-peddling in the acquisition of a tract of land in the Hsinchu industrial park. Prosecutors said that Ho pressured officials at the National Science Council, saying he could change the status of a desired tract of land from "mountain slope" to "industrial land."

The council paid NT$8.8 million per hectare for the acquisition, the report said.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top