Sat, Jan 01, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Maokong Gondola probe finds none guilty

Staff Writer

The Taipei Prosecutors’ Office yesterday closed its investigation into alleged irregularities concerning the Maokong Gondola, saying no city government officials were found guilty.

The investigation stemmed from an incident in September 2008 when torrential rains brought by Super Typhoon Jangmi caused a landslide near the Maokong -Gondola and erosion around one of the gondola’s support pillars. The incident forced the city to suspend service for an extended period of time.

Amid growing criticism of the decision to build the gondola in the unstable mountainous areas of Muzha (木柵), the Taipei City Government’s Department of Government Ethics launched an investigation into the construction of the Maokong Gondola and presented its investigation report to the Taipei District Court and the Control Yuan.

The Control Yuan censured Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin’s (郝龍斌) administration over the construction of the system in November 2009.

Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office spokesman Wang Wen-te (王文德) yesterday said no city -government officials were found to be involved in criminal acts after prosecutors probed the gondola’s construction, bidding and inspection processes.

Administrative responsibilities and issues relating to contractors were not included in the prosecutors’ investigation this time, Wang added.

When asked for comment, Hau yesterday thanked the judicial body for proving the innocence of the involved civil servants.

Hau said the city government had taken the initiative to report 11 city officials — including of Taipei City Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner Lin Li-yu (林麗玉) — to the Control Yuan for investigation for administrative negligence, and disciplinary action had already been taken.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY MO YAN-CHIH

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