Fri, Jul 16, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Official is subpoenaed over graft

MILITARY EDUCATION Investigators say that Sung Wen demanded bribes for promotions, but Sung says that the pan-green government is out to get him

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Sung Wen, director of the Department of Students' Military Training, raises his glass at his son's wedding on June 19.

PHOTO: CHANG CHUNG-YI, TAIPEI TIMES

Sung Wen (宋文), director of the Ministry of Education's Depart-ment of Students' Military Training (軍訓處), who has been accused of soliciting and taking bribes from subordinates, was subpoenaed by the Taipei Bureau of Investigation yesterday.

Because of the scandal, Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng (杜正勝) said yesterday that the ministry might transfer Sung and will begin to review the system of military training education that has been in place since 1928.

According to the bureau, Sung, who oversees about 4,600 instructors of military training in secondary schools and colleges nationwide, is suspected of extorting his subordinates, demanding money or gifts in exchange for promotions.

On Wednesday night, the bureau went to Sung's office and residence to search for evidence of bribe-taking and seized some bankbooks and a list of names of people suspected of having given him money or gifts.

Two military instructors recently reported to the bureau that Sung had been abusing his power by demanding NT$10,000 to NT$100,000 in exchange for promotions.

After being questioned by a military prosecutor yesterday morning, Sung was released on NT$100,000 bail.

Based on the Statute for Punishment of Corruption (貪污治罪條例), an officer who takes bribes and is convicted of corruption charges will be sentenced to at least seven years and fined up to NT$60 million.

Sung has denied that he extorted his subordinates and said that he was framed by people with whom he had feuded.

Sung also said that he suspected that his support of the pan-blue camp had resulted in his being framed by pan-green elements in the government.

"I suspect that the pan-green government wanted to give me a hard time and tried to oust me from the ministry of education," Sung said yesterday.

However, Tu strongly rebutted Sung's claim and criticized his remarks is "illogical" and "false."

"Sung has served as the department director for nine years but the pan-green camp has been in power for only a little more than four years," Tu said, adding that in his opinion Sung was trying to muddy the waters with political accusations.

Tu said that the case would proceed according to judicial procedure and that the ministry had no right to comment on the case. Tu also said that he was considering transferring Sung to a non-supervisory position.

He also said that it was time to re-examine the nation's system of military education because the ministry actually has little authority to monitor the operation of the department because of historical convention.

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