Mon, Nov 10, 2003 - Page 2 News List

`Paparazzi' catch errant officials

MEN FROM THE MINISTRY The Ministry of Justice's Inspection Department has established a special team to watch prosecutors and policemen who ``misbehave''

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) yesterday said that three prosecutors will be facing "proper punishment," which will be decided before the end of this week, for damaging the image of law enforcement officials by going drinking with female friends at midnight, even though two of them are married.

"The ministry will hold a press conference today to explain the entire case and a proper punishment for them [the trio] will be announced as soon as possible, which should be by the end of the week," Chen said.

The three men are Panchiao prosecutors Kuo Wei-chung (郭緯中) and Huang Chung-kang (黃重鋼) and Taipei prosecutor Lu Chao-chang (呂朝章).

On Chen's request, the ministry's Inspection Department established a "paparazzi team," which will officially begin work on Dec. 1, to nab prosecutors or police officers who allegedly misbehave themselves.

Members of the paparazzi team followed Kuo, Huang and Lu on Oct. 28 and discovered that they met up with two female friends and three police officers, Lin Chien-fu (林建甫), Yang Chin-tsai (楊進財) and Wu Chih-hui (吳志輝). The group went to the "Melody Pub," a private bar on the corner of Fuhsing South Rd. and Tungfeng St. in Taipei.

Lin, Yang and Wu are officers in the Criminal Investigation Section of the Taipei City Police Department's Ta-an Precinct. They have already been punished because they were supposed to be on duty at the time they were seen drinking with the prosecutors.

They finished their drinks and left the bar at around 11pm. Kuo and Huang, who are married, left with the two women.

The paparazzi team took photographs outside but did not take any pictures of what happened inside the bar. According to the photographs, Kuo and Huang were very close to the two women and walked hand in hand with them.

Panchiao District Prosecutors' Office Spokesman Tseng Jiunn-che (曾俊哲) said that inspectors' investigation showed that the bar is not a hostess bar and the three prosecutors, three officers and the two women were merely chatting and drinking there. However, the prosecutors' behavior is still regarded as "improper."

"Prosecutors should discipline themselves according to a stricter moral standard, especially married men such as Kuo and Huang," Tseng said.

According to Tseng, this outcome was not expected because the paparazzi team initially followed Kuo regarding another matter. He has allegedly helped illegal video game owners maintain their business.

"He is a tough prosecutor who knows how to do his job well. Unfortunately, he is also a controversial man because of the way he investigates his cases," Tseng said.

Kuo made headlines a couple of years ago because he lived with Liao Hsien-ling (廖先聆), a former Miss Taiwan and a cover girl for Playboy, although he was married to another woman.

Liao later filed a civil suit against him for cheating on her. The Supreme Court ruled against Kuo last month and he was ordered to pay Liao NT$6.1 million in compensation.

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