Fri, Jul 13, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Investigators hunting for evidence in Hsieh probe

KAOHSIUNG INQUIRY The Special Investigation Task Force is working on 10 cases related to allegations of legal transgressions during Frank Hsieh's term in office

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

A special investigation team has taken steps to collect evidence of suspected irregularities involving former Kaohsiung mayor Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), who is now the Democratic Progressive Party's candidate for next year's presidential election, the Supreme Prosecutors' Office said yesterday.

Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南), director of the Special Investigation Task Force at the Supreme Prosecutors' Office, said members of the team had traveled to Kaohsiung on July 10 to collect files from the city government's Bureau of Public Works, Bureau of Civil Affairs and other agencies as part of its investigation into suspected legal transgressions involving Hsieh during his mayoral stint.

Prosecutors also questioned several city government staff members, Chen said, but added that the operation could hardly be called "a search of the city government," as a local daily described it.

Chen said he would consult with State Public Prosecutor General Chen Tsung-ming (陳聰明) before deciding whether to give a public briefing on the latest prosecutorial action with regard to Hsieh.

Since the Special Investigation Task Force was inaugurated on April 2, it has taken over the task of investigating 10 separate cases allegedly involving Hsieh. The cases had been transferred to the task force by the Kaohsiung branch of the Taiwan High Prosecutors' Office and the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office.

Most of the cases are related to the Kaohsiung mass rapid transit (MRT) system, which is still under construction. Nine prosecutors from the special investigation team have been assigned to the cases.

Meanwhile, prosecutor Hou Kuan-jen (侯寬仁) is investigating a complaint filed by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus last year about Hsieh's suspected misuse of a special expense fund reserved for his discretionary use during his mayoral term from 1998 to 2005.

A front-page story in yesterday's China Times said three special investigation team prosecutors -- Chu Chao-liang (朱朝亮), Lee Hai-lung (李海龍) and Wu Wen-chung (吳文忠) -- took away a large amount of files and documents from Kaohsiung city government offices earlier this week after questioning about 40 city officials concerning five cases involving Hsieh, including the election of Kaohsiung Bank board members, the Dream Mall project, the Kaohsiung Stadium project, a political contribution case and an alleged scandal involving the Kaohsiung MRT system.

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