Law enforcement officers did not violate former minister of the interior Yu Cheng-hsien’s (余政憲) rights when they detained him on Wednesday, Taipei Chief Prosecutor Lin Ling-yu (林玲玉) said yesterday.
“Everything was done by the book,” she said.
Lin made the remarks in reaction to complaints from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers during a session of the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statues Committee yesterday.
The DPP lawmakers said law enforcement personnel had violated Yu’s rights when they stopped him at Kaohsiung Airport on his way to Macau on Wednesday.
“It is my understanding that police officers boarded the aircraft and escorted Yu off the plane. It was humiliating and a violation of his rights,” DPP Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) said. “Law enforcement officers gave the impression that Yu was absconding, which was not the case.”
Yu was detained because prosecutors suspect him of involvement in a case of alleged corruption in the construction of Taipei’s Nangang Convention Center.
Prosecutors suspect Yu may have taken advantage of his ministerial position and relationship with the former first family to help the Rich Group win several government bids.
Lin told the committee a summons asking Yu to report to prosecutors for questioning yesterday had been mailed to him last Tuesday.
Yu did not ask to be excused and prosecutors learned that he was leaving for Macau on Wednesday, Lin said.
During a telephone conversation on Wednesday morning, Yu had promised prosecutors that he would appear at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on Wednesday afternoon, the legislator said.
“Yu did not ask to be excused so our officers stopped him on the plane. He then reported to prosecutors on Wednesday afternoon with his lawyers. Everything was legal and appropriate. No human rights were violated,” Lin said.
Yu’s summons and eventual detention came after Rich Group president Kuo Chuan-ching (郭銓慶) decided to testify against defendants or potential defendants in the money laundering investigation against the former first family.
Prosecutors discovered irregularities in the Nangang construction project while investigating the case of alleged money laundering.
After Kuo decided to testify, Taipei Prosecutor Ko Yi-fen (柯宜汾) immediately withdrew the detention request against Kuo and released him after questioning on Wednesday night.
Kuo is still barred from leaving the country, as the Special Investigation Panel of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office needs his cooperation in investigating the alleged money laundering case.
Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) described Yu’s detention as political persecution related to future elections.
Chen, who was in Jhongli (中壢), Taoyuan County, yesterday, said that prosecutors had detained former Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Chen Che-nan (陳哲男) in the run-up to the county commissioner and city mayor elections in 2005 for his alleged involvement in corruption connected to the construction of Kaohsiung’s mass rapid transit system.
Three years later, however, prosecutors still could not indict Chen Che-nan because they could not produce any evidence to prove their claims, the former president said.
Yu’s detention was just another example of political persecution before the elections, Chen Shui-bian said.
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