Thu, Apr 09, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Prosecutors release official questioned over UN torch relay

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A former deputy chairman of the Sports Affairs Council (SAC) questioned in connection with a corruption investigation was released on bail by Taipei prosecutors late on Tuesday.

The official is alleged to have illegally profited from a sports association that co-organized the nationwide torch relay in support of the UN membership bid using the name Taiwan in October 2007.

Taipei prosecutors released former SAC deputy chairman Lee Kao-hsiang (李高祥) on NT$500,000 bail, while former SAC chairman Yang Jong-her (楊忠和) was released without bail.

Taipei prosecutors said the SAC allowed the Chinese Taipei Road Running Association to co-host the event, but prosecutors received complaints that the association only spent around NT$2 million (US$60,000) on the event, although it said it spent NT$16 million, including almost NT$6 million the SAC allocated to the association.

Prosecutors said they suspected former SAC officials and officials from the running association pocketed the money. They said while the SAC gave the Government Information Office a budget of NT$2 million to buy TV commercials and newspaper ads to promote the event, the running association also listed those items as expenses.

Prosecutors raided the office of the running association on Tuesday morning and then summoned Yang, Lee, running association secretary-­general Sunny Chen (陳華恆) and four other people for questioning, but only Lee was released on bail.

The event was held on Oct. 24, 2007.

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