Mon, Feb 12, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Former air force official found guilty of corruption

PROBE CONTINUING The Taichung District Court said that it was likely that other officers were also involved in illegally renting out military airstrip land to farmers

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taichung judges found a former air force official guilty of corruption and asked prosecutors to investigate several generals, including a strategy adviser to the president, General Lee tien-yu (李天羽), on suspicion of having committed similar crimes.

The Taichung District Court handed down its ruling in the case on Thursday.

The defendant can appeal to the Taiwan High Court.

The court said that retired air force Colonel Wu Chi-ching (吳吉慶) had been found guilty of corruption and sentenced to six years in prison for illegally renting out land at Taichung Chingchuankang (清泉崗) Air Force Base to farmers.

FIFTEEN YEARS

The court said that because the air force base had let the land for 15 years, it was likely that other commanders and high-ranking officials at the base knew and were also guilty of corruption.

The court said it had handed over certain legal documents to prosecutors and asked them to investigate several generals commanding the base, including Lee, former deputy chief of the general staff General Wang Han-ning (王漢寧), former lieutenant-general Chou Cheng-yun (周振雲) and others.

The court said that Chou, then commander of the base, had asked Wu in 1995 to clear land between runways of roosting birds.

Wu subsequently suggested renting the land to farmers and Chou agreed.

The court said that renting out military land violated the law.

The court said it suspected some former military officials at the base had received kickbacks from the farmers in return for helping them get access to the land, but added that it was unable to indict them because they had moved to China.

AVIATION SECURITY

After the farmers erected sheds on the land in 2001, endangering aviation security, the military asked the base to evict the farmers.

The Control Yuan then began to investigate why the farmers had been on the land.

The Control Yuan found that letting the land to farmers was illegal and handed over the case to the judicial system to pursue legal action.

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