Thu, Aug 23, 2007 - Page 4 News List

DPP legislator's office searched over land deal

TAKEN IN Nantou District Prosecutors Office spokesman Wu Tso-yan said that prosecutors questioned and then arrested Gao Jyh-peng's legislative aide, Yao Sheng-chih

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Prosecutors searched Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Gao Jyh-peng's (高志鵬) office in the legislature yesterday and arrested one of his assistants for alleged involvement in a land scandal.

Nantou District Prosecutors Office spokesman Wu Tso-yan (吳祚延) yesterday afternoon told a press conference that Nantou prosecutors arrested Yao Sheng-chih (姚昇志), vice director of Gao's legislative office. During the search, which lasted seven hours, they seized a number of documents and arrested Yao after questioning him on site.

Wu said the National Property Administration (NPA) under the Ministry of Finance had rented land belonging to the government in Taichung. NPA officials were suspected of receiving bribes from the company that won the rental bid.

Prosecutors also raided the NPA and its branch office in Taichung yesterday. A total of 17 properties nationwide were searched yesterday in connection with the case, Wu said.

Wu said prosecutors interviewed 22 people yesterday, including NPA director Kuo Wu-po (郭武博) and other NPA officials. People were still being questioned as of press time.

Yao was suspected of brokering the alleged bribe, Wu said.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday that the prosecutors had informed him about their plan to search Gao's office in advance.

Wang declined to reveal the details of his conversation with the prosecutors, simply stating that the matter involves an allegation involving a legislative assistant of Gao.

"I told [the prosecutors] that the desks and other things not belonging to the assistant should be off-limits to them," Wang said.

On his way to DPP's Central Executive Committee meeting yesterday afternoon, Gao told reporters that the search resulted from Yao's personal behavior and had nothing to do with him.

Gao said prosecutors should have questioned his assistant outside his office rather than searching his office.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan and Flora Wang

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