Sat, Jan 17, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Former minister admits Nangang names leak

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former minister of the Interior Yu Cheng-hsien (余政憲) yesterday admitted in court that he had leaked the names of the evaluation board for the Nangang Exhibition Center project to potential contractors, but stressed that he did not accept any bribes.

Yu was detained on Oct. 15 in relation to an investigation into allegations of corruption involving the former first family and the construction of the Nangang Exhibition Hall. Yu made statements implicating former first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) and other potential defendants in the case and was released on Nov. 27.

Yu was indicted last month for his alleged involvement in irregularities related to the construction of the hall.

“At former first lady Wu Shu-jen’s request, I forwarded the list to her friend Tsai Ming-che (蔡銘哲), so that Tsai could find us qualified contractors for the project,” Yu told judges at the Taipei District Court, saying that he did not leak any other government documents or accept any bribes from anybody.

Contractor Kuo Chuan-ching (郭銓慶) has also admitted that he collected US$2.73 million to bribe the former first family in return for winning the tender to build the center between 2002 and 2003.

Prosecutors requested the court consider a lighter sentence for Yu and Kuo now that they have admitted to the crime and because they had cooperated throughout the investigation.

The evaluation board consisted of seven university professors, who all denied allegations that they were bribed to grant Kuo the tender. The prosecutors requested that the court consider longer sentences for the board members.

The seven professors requested that the judges summon related witnesses to prove that there were no unusual activities in their bank accounts as proof that they did not accept any money.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER

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