Tue, Sep 06, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Prosecutor in hot water over scam

BY RICH CHANG  /  STAFF REPORTER

Prosecutors yesterday summoned former Yunlin County prosecutor Hsu Wei-yu (徐維嶽) and a number of police officers in charge of an investigation into the multi-million dollar baseball game-fixing scandal -- on suspicion that they were also involved in the scam.

"Prosecutors summoned Hsu and several police officers to investigate whether they were involved in illegal baseball gaming, and whether they took bribes in other criminal cases they were investigating," Yunlin Prosecutors' Office spokesman Chiang Teh-lung (蔣得龍) said yesterday.

Chiang said that the new investigation was being jointly managed by Yunlin authorities and the Taiwan High Court's Black Gold Investigation Center.

Prosecutors yesterday also raided a Criminal Investigation Bureau office in Taichung City. The police in that office had also worked with Hsu in probing the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) game-fixing scandal.

The prosecutors with the joint investigation then raided the residence of a police officer with the Criminal Investigation Bureau in Taichung City.

Documents from the police station and Lin's residence had been seized, prosecutors said.

The Taichung bureau yesterday said it had no comment on the raid.

Prosecutors said they suspected Hsu and other bureau police officers had been betting on baseball games even as they probed the case.

They said that after examining the telephone records of local gangsters and bookies, they believed the suspects had been making wagers based on "inside information."

The prosecutors said they were not sure how much money was involved.

Hsu was reassigned to the Penghu Prosecutors' Office from the Yunlin Prosecutors' Office on Aug. 25.

Chinese-language newspapers have speculated that Hsu's removal to the remote county was related to the criminal investigation.

Before his departure, on Aug. 24, Hsu told reporters that he had finished his investigations and would indict five players, nine gangsters involved in bookmaking, one coach and one team translator on charges of blackmail, fraud and breach of trust.

However, Yunlin Prosecutors' Office director Ho Ming-chen (何明楨) said earlier that his office needed more time to review the case.

The game-fixing investigation is a huge blow for the professional baseball league, which suffered a similar scandal in 1998.

Gangsters and gamblers had infiltrated the sport, and the China Times Eagles team was disbanded after players were convicted of gambling offenses.

The following year, 18 players, one manager and two bookmakers were convicted and jailed in relation to the case.

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