Fri, Jan 11, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Retired air force general detained in bribery probe

Staff writer, with CNA

Prosecutors on Wednesday obtained a district court’s permission to detain Liu Yuan-chung (劉遠忠), director of Cingjing Farm in Nantou County and a decorated military veteran, on suspicion of accepting kickbacks from contractors.

Liu and another suspect, believed to be a middleman, are accused of soliciting bribes from construction companies contracted by the leisure farm that is operated by the Veterans Affairs Commission.

The Nantou District Court said Liu, who has served as director of the farm since 2010, was suspected of having taken bribes in violation of the Anti-Corruption Act (貪汙治罪條例).

The court ordered that Liu and the other suspect, a construction company overseer identified only by the surname Lin, be held incommunicado because they were likely to collude on testimony and might try to flee the country.

Last year, the popular leisure farm in the central Taiwan undertook renovation and landscaping works. Investigators from the Agency Against Corruption found that Liu, a retired air force major general, may have accepted more than NT$3 million (US$103,135) in kickbacks from the contractors. Prosecutors raided Liu’s living quarters on Tuesday and seized NT$1 million in cash that was believed to be part of the kickbacks he had allegedly received.

Liu was held for questioning overnight and prosecutors later sought the court’s permission to detain him and Lin on bribery charges.

The minimum penalty for the crime is five years in jail, the court said.

Liu, who was the leader of the Air Force’s 443rd Tactical Fighter Wing, was decorated in 1990 for flying a crippled fighter away from a heavily populated area in southern Taiwan and out to sea before ejecting from the aircraft, according to military sources.

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