Fri, Jul 24, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Kaohsiung City officials face questions over aides

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Prosecutors yesterday said they would question dozens of Kaohsiung City councilors in their probe into whether any councilors used falsified lists of assistants to apply for reimbursements from government funds.

Chung Chung-hsiao (鍾忠孝), spokesman for the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office, said prosecutors would question 24 city councilors today, including Kaohsiung City Council Speaker Chuang Chi-wang (莊啟旺) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

Chung said the 24 councilors were from the KMT and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and that the investigation was not targeting any political party.

Prosecutors last month led hundreds of police officers, investigators and honor guards in a mass raid of city councilors’ homes and offices.

Prosecutors suspect dozens of former and current councilors applied for and received public funds by submitting falsified lists of assistants with the names of real people who did not work for them and were not aware that their names were being used.

Although prosecutors had search warrants, the raids were criticized by councilors such as Chuang and DPP Councilor Lin Ying-jung (林瑩蓉).

They said although the funds were earmarked for “salaries of councilors’ assistants,” city councilors had the power and freedom to decide how to spend the money.

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