Thu, Jul 20, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Judicial Yuan denies interfering in Taipei prosecutors' probe

ALLEGATION The office was responding to a media report that Chen Shi-ti had asked Taipei prosecutors not to question Chen Chun-chiu

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Judicial Yuan yesterday denied a media report alleging that it had asked Taipei prosecutors not to investigate a case involving a grand justice.

The case in question involves allegations of bribery leveled at former Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Chen Che-nan (陳哲男).

Chen Che-nan was indicted on July 7 on suspicion of accepting NT$7.11 million (US$222,188) from Liang Po-hsun (梁柏薰), money Liang says Chen was supposed to use to bribe the judges in the businessman's embezzlement trial.

According to the businessman, after Liang was sentenced to 14 months in jail, Chen returned NT$3 million to him, but kept the remaining NT$4.11 million.

As prosecutors probed Chen's bribery case, Chinese-language newspapers such as the China Times and the United Daily News reported that the former Presidential Office deputy secretary-general had allegedly asked a grand justice to lobby Taiwan High Court Judge Chen Chun-chiu (陳春秋), the presiding judge in Liang's trail, on his behalf.

In late 2003, Chen Chun-chiu sentenced Liang to 14 months in jail.

The China Times reported yesterday that as Taipei prosecutors investigated Chen Che-nan's bribery case, the director of the Judicial Yuan's Department of Civil Service Ethics, Chen Shi-ti (陳時提), visited the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office and asked prosecutors not to summon Chen Chun-chiu for questioning. The report alleged that Chen Shi-ti did this to avoid details of the lobbying scandal from coming to light.

"Chen Shi-ti did visit the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office in May. He asked the prosecutors to alert the Judicial Yuan if they uncovered any evidence suggesting that members of the judiciary had been involved in Chen Che-nan's corruption case.

However, Chen Shi-ti did not ask the prosecutors not to subpoena any judges or officials," Judicial Yuan Secretary-General Fan Kuang-chun (范光群) said at a press conference yesterday.

Taipei District Prosecutors' Office spokesman Lin Pang-liang (林邦樑) confirmed yesterday that prosecutors had not subpoenaed Chen Chun-chiu, but said this was not because the Judicial Yuan had interfered.

A number of judges have been linked to Chen Che-nan's bribery case. The Judicial Yuan's disciplinary committee is considering whether to suspend Taiwan High Court Judge Lee Wen-cheng (李文成) for advising Chen Che-nan how to cover up his crimes before the latter was questioned by prosecutors in April.

The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office said that Lee had admitted to meeting Chen on March 29 and April 3, and advising him how to cover up any crimes he may have committed.

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