Wed, Dec 16, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Fugitive official on wanted list

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Convicted former Changhua County council speaker Pai Hung-shen (白鴻森) was put on the nation’s wanted list yesterday after disappearing from a hospital on Sunday.

The coast guard has stepped up surveillance efforts to find Pai.

The former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) council speaker was sentenced in May 2006 to eight years in prison for misappropriating NT$890,000 to pay off friends and supporters.

The Changhua District Court said Pai used local government funds to treat his friends and supporters at hostess bars in Taichung City between 1994 and 2003.

Pai was found guilty of corruption and ordered to return the money to the local government.

He was set to start serving time in June, but before his prison sentence began was diagnosed with acute coronary syndrome.

He was then hospitalized for observation and a check up at the Show Chwan Memorial Hospital in Changhua under guard. In August, he was transferred to the Taichung Veterans General Hospital for heart surgery.

Despite being under the watch of police officers, Pai managed to leave the hospital on Sunday afternoon.

District prosecutors said Pai was reported missing by a nurse who went to his room to check on him.

Pai was scheduled to start serving his prison sentence next Tuesday.

Prosecutors on Monday questioned two police officers who kept guard through a monitor in a conference room down the hall from his room.

The police officers are suspected of helping Pai escape because they did not report that he was missing until three hours after he left through an emergency exit near his room, as shown by the hospital’s surveillance cameras.

The Changhua County Police Bureau on Monday gave the officers major demerits and transferred them from their posts.

Chen Teh-fang (陳德芳), spokesperson for the Changhua District Prosecutors’ Office, said Pai would remain on the list until caught or until Oct. 1, 2046.

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