Sat, Nov 29, 2008 - Page 4 News List

Yuanta Securities director released on NT$1m bail

REQUEST DENIEDThe court rejected a prosecutor request that Tu Li-ping be detained, saying there was little risk that she would collude with other witnesses

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Yuanta Securities (元大證券) board director Tu Li-ping (杜麗萍) was released on NT$1 million (US$30,000) bail yesterday after the court rejected a request that she be detained by prosecutors investigating alleged corruption involving the first family.

In denying the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office’s Special Investigation Panel’s (SIP) detention request, the Taipei District Court said there was little chance that Tu would collude with other witnesses as prosecutors claimed and that prosecutors had already conducted repeated searches of her offices and other locations related to the case.

Tu was summoned for questioning on Thursday evening and SIP prosecutors decided to detain her around midnight. The Taipei District Court took until early yesterday morning to reach its decision.

Prosecutors suspect Tu of helping former first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) wire as much as NT$740 million through Yuanta Financial Holdings into overseas bank accounts that were opened by Wu’s children or proxies.

Tu’s lawyer Tan Hu (談虎) said that prosecutors wanted to detain her because she told them that she once took NT$200 million from Yuanta to the Presidential Office — money that prosecutors believed was a bribe from the company to ensure that the first family would not intervene in a buyout project in which Yuanta was involved in 2005.

“She told prosecutors that it was not a bribe, but they did not believe her,” Tan said.

Tan, however, did not say what that money was for.

Meanwhile, Wu Shu-jen’s brother, Wu Ching-mao (吳景茂), who has been in detention for 53 days, was released yesterday on NT$2 million bail. SIP prosecutors decided to file a bail request after questioning him yesterday morning, which the Taipei District Court granted.

Both Tu and Wu Ching-mao were barred from leaving the country.

Prosecutors yesterday also questioned former Chinatrust Financial Holding Corp vice president Jeffrey Koo Jr (辜仲諒) and former Democratic Progressive Party legislator Luo Wen-chia (羅文嘉).

“They simply wanted me to confirm statements from other witnesses,” Luo said.

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