Sun, Dec 12, 2004 - Page 6 News List

Former Yunlin County commissioner detained

The prosecutor's request to hold onto Chang Jung-wei was granted just minutes after his sibling declared victory in her election

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Yunlin Chief Prosecutor Chiang Teh-lung's (蔣得龍) request to detain former Yunlin County commissioner Chang Jung-wei (張榮味) was granted yesterday while there was happier news for Chang's younger sister Chang Li-shan (張麗善) -- she won a seat in the legislature as an independent.

The detention request was granted by the Yunlin District Court around 8pm, just a after minutes after Chang Li-shan declared victory in her bid for one of the six seats in her constituency.

Running against 17 other candidates, she received 51,436 votes or approximately 14.7 percent of the total votes in the county.

She arrived at the Yunlin District Prosecutors' Office around 8:30pm to inform her brother in person of her victory.

Meanwhile, Chang Jung-wei denied all the allegations against him yesterday, according to Yunlin District Prosecutors' Office.

The chief prosecutor said he asked for the former commissioner to be held because of the severity of the charges facing him and the fact that he was on the run for so long.

"There is a great chance that Chang Jung-wei could exchange information with other witnesses or related persons in this case. In addition, the basic sentence he may be face will be more than five years. He was also on the run for 107 days," Chiang said.

Chang Jung-wei's lawyer, Lee Chien-chung (李建忠), said he would seek bail for his client.

"The investigation portion of the case has been wrapped up so there should be no need to detain him," Lee said.

The former commissioner was questioned yesterday about his involvement in the Linnei Township incinerator construction scandal. He reportedly accepted a substantial bribe during the tendering process for construction of the incinerator.

Linnei Township Mayor Chen Ho-shan (陳河山) admitted in July that he had accepted a total of NT$18 million in bribes from contractors trying to win the bid.

Others involved in the the bribery have reportedly implicated Chang Jung-wei in their statements.

Yunlin prosecutors later tried to summon Chang Jung-wei, who went into hiding on Aug. 13.

During the interrogation yesterday, the former commissioner told Prosecutor Tsai Chi-wen (蔡啟文) that had not left the country while on the run.

According to Tsai, Chang Jung-wei said he had stayed at a friend's suburban home and rarely went out in public.

On Nov. 23, Chang Jung-wei called a local reporter of a Chinese-language newspaper to say that he would turn himself in on Dec. 20.

"He never wanted to escape," Lee said of his client. "To avoid potential political involvement in the case, he wanted to wait until the passions of the [legislative]campaign had died down. So he decided to end this on Dec. 20, but it did not work out."

Chang Jung-wei has been in legal trouble before. On Aug. 26, the Taiwan High Court sentenced him to 12 months in jail because of his involvement in 1994 Yunlin County Council speakership election bribery scandal.

He is currently appealing that verdict to the Supreme Court.

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