Sun, May 03, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Officials seek long terms in Nantou kickback trial

MARATHON:Prosecutors sought shorter terms for suspects they said aided the probe of Lee Chao-ching, a former Nantou County commissioner

Staff writer, with CNA

Prosecutors are seeking 30-year jail terms for former Nantou County commissioner Lee Chao-ching (李朝卿) and his wife’s brother, who face charges of taking kickbacks from contractors while Lee was in office.

Also indicted in the corruption case were officials and advisers in Lee’s county government, for whom prosecutors requested jail terms ranging from two to 12 years, in addition to depriving them of their civil rights for shorter periods than the pursued prison sentences.

The Nantou District Court began hearing the case in March 2013, after indictments on charges related to the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例).

The prosecution’s investigation found that after Tseng Jen-lung (曾仁隆) took up the directorship of the county government’s Department of Public Construction, Lee allegedly instructed him to direct all bidders on contracts to Chien Jui-chi (簡瑞祺), Lee’s brother-in-law.

The three jointly set a “standardized” 10 percent kickback from all winning projects, making a total of NT$30 million (US$975,546) in illicit profits over the years, the indictment read.

After two years of hearings, which had ended a day earlier, the prosecution team asked that the court sentence Lee and Chien to 30 years in prison and strip them of their civil rights for 10 years.

The prosecution also requested punishment for two other major suspects in the case — Lee adviser Chen Kuo-chin (陳國進) and then-county contract employee Shih Pi-jung (石壁榮), suggesting that they be given sentences of 12 and six years respectively, alongside the loss of their civil rights for 10 and five years.

Prosecutors sought lighter sentences for Tseng and three other indicted former officials, saying that they had cooperated with investigators after admitting to taking bribes from contractors.

Prosecutors sought two-year sentences for them.

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