Sun, May 07, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Ex-star pitcher escapes indictment in Yunlin

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Yunlin prosecutors yesterday said they would not indict a Dominican national -- a former pitcher in Taiwan's professional baseball league -- in relation to match-fixing allegations. Two local players suspected of involvement in the multimillion-dollar scam also escaped further investigation.

"Former Chinese Professional Baseball League pitcher Emiliano Giron Brazoban from the Dominican Republic and two domestic players, Hsu Chih-hua (許志華) and Wang Chien-chiang (王建強), will not be indicted owing to insufficient evidence indicating that they were involved in the game-fixing scandal," Yunlin Prosecutors' Office spokesman Chiang Teh-lung (蔣得龍) said yesterday.

Chiang added, however, that prosecutors had referred the cases of another 17 players and gangsters to Taichung prosecutors for crimes allegedly committed in the Taichung area.

Key suspects in the case, including Macoto Cobras second division coach Tsai Sheng-fong (蔡生豐), La New Bears catcher Chen Chao-ying (陳昭穎) and Sinon Bulls translator Cheng Yu-wei (鄭祐衛), are included in those referrals.

Chiang said prosecutors also indicted three gangsters for gambling on baseball games.

Former Yunlin prosecutor Hsu Wei-yu (徐維嶽), who had led the initial investigation, was accused last year of betting on games together with police officers probing the cases.

Hsu was also accused of taking and sharing bribes with police officers who had worked with him for several years.

One week before his downfall, Hsu told reporters that he had finished his investigation and prepared charges against 16 defendants. These include five league players, nine gangsters involved in bookmaking, one coach and one team translator on charges of blackmail, fraud and breach of trust.

Hsu has been detained since last September.

The investigation has come as a big blow for the baseball league, which suffered a similar scandal in 1998.

Gangsters and gamblers had infiltrated the sport, and the China Times Eagles were 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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