Taipei prosecutors yesterday brought in Taipei City Secretariat Director Yang Hsi-an (楊錫安) and several construction company officials for questioning, part of an ongoing investigation into a scandal surrounding the Xinsheng Overpass reconstruction project that threatens to undermine Mayor Hau Lung-bin’s (郝龍斌) bid for re-election next month.
Yang was questioned as a witness, prosecutors said, with the meeting wrapping up at around noon.
Earlier this month, investigators searched Yang’s office at the Taipei City Government and the Department of New Construction, prompting Hau to protest against what he called the negative impact prosecutors were having on his re-election campaign.
To date, Yang is the most senior Taipei City official to have been questioned in relation to the overpass scandal.
Aside from Yang, prosecutors also summoned officials from Kung Sing Engineering Corp, Evergreen Construction Corp and Hwang Chang General Contractor for questioning.
The investigation was launched last month after it was revealed that the city government’s floor price for the rejuvenation project went up from NT$1.62 billion (US$52.6 million) in the first round of bidding to NT$1.95 billion in the seventh round, raising speculation that city officials may have conspired with company officials.
Former New Construction Department director Huang Hsi-hsun (黃錫薰) and former section chief Chen Chih-sheng (陳智盛) have been detained for their alleged involvement in the matter.
Huang has told prosecutors that Hau had given him instructions to the effect that the tender had to be concluded at the seventh round of bidding.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
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