Thu, Jun 07, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Navy chief defends deputy over strip club allegations

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Navy Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Chen Yung-kang (陳永康) yesterday defended embattled Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Navy Vice Admiral Shen Po-chi (申伯之), whom a newspaper article on Monday said led a naval delegation to a local strip club during a stay in Honolulu, Hawaii, five years ago.

The article, which appeared in the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister newspaper), alleged that Shen had turned down an invitation to board a US submarine.

Chen said the US Navy's invitation to board the USS Santa Fe had not been approved by the Pentagon, meaning that the visit could not have taken place anyway.

"Approval from the Pentagon is required before foreign officers can board a nuclear submarine and our delegation did not get that approval," Chen said during yesterday morning's legislative National Defense Committee meeting after being queried by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Nan-sheng (林南生) on the allegations against Shen.

Chen said the invitation had been made by a US Navy captain and did not constitute an official invitation. It was never approved by the Pentagon so it was never likely to happen.

The Liberty Times article quoted retired Navy captain Wang Chih-peng (王志鵬), who said Shen had taken the delegation to a local strip club rather than board the Santa Fe during the Dec. 17, 2002 to Dec. 22, 2002, visit to Honolulu.

In a communique released by Naval Command Headquarters late on Monday night, Shen said he had led the delegation to a "regular tourist nightclub" and regretted what he had done.

Chen would not say whether Shen had been reprimanded for his actions. As per the official code of conduct, the nation's military personnel are barred from visiting nightclubs.

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