Wed, Mar 01, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Chief of Hsinchu County out on bail, pledges cooperation

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Hsinchu County Commissioner Cheng Yung-chin (鄭永金), a member of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), was released on bail yesterday after his arrest on Monday on suspicion of accepting bribes from construction companies.

The Hsinchu District Court freed Cheng after he posted bail of NT$1 million (US$30,300).

"Current evidence indicates he might have taken some bribes," said Chen Yu-jin (陳餘錦), a spokesman for the Hsinchu District Prosecutors' Office.

Prosecutors said Cheng was suspected of accepting bribes ranging from NT$1 million to NT$2 million from six construction companies in exchange for the speedy delivery of construction licenses.

If the construction firms did not pay up, the processing of the licenses would be made to proceed slowly, prosecutors alleged.

Prosecutors added that a county government official, Huang Chin-chiu (黃金球), also released on NT$500,000 bail, is suspected of handling the money for Cheng.

Cheng also allegedly helped an independent county councilor, Fan Yu-yen (范玉燕), to win a contract to supply office furniture to the county government, prosecutors said.

Fan was summoned for questioning on Monday, but the councilor had already left for Hong Kong last week.

Cheng told reporters he would cooperate with the investigation before visiting the prosecutors' office on Monday.

Hsu Bing-wen (許炳文), a prosecutor noted for his tough approach, uncovered the case while investigating a construction company last year.

Hsu, the lead prosecutor in the case, on Monday led seven prosecutors and more than 60 investigators on a raid on Cheng's office and residence, as well as the county council and the construction companies.

Twelve people with the county government and the construction firms were summoned for questioning on Monday.

Ten were released on bail yesterday.

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