Sat, Jan 09, 2016 - Page 4 News List

Ko denies sacking aide over bribery allegations

NO GUARANTEES:When asked if he would swear on his aide’s innocence, the mayor refused, saying that he would not vouch for anyone, as he is not a deity

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday denied allegations by Taipei City Councilor Wang Shih-chien (王世堅) of the Democratic Progressive Party that Ko aide Hung Chi-kune’s (洪智坤) resignation was related to Hung allegedly taking bribes from Farglory Group (遠雄集團) and that Ko had pressed Hung to resign.

Wang accused Hung, a Taipei City Government adviser who previously worked in Ko’s electon campaign, of having taken an eight-figure bribe from Farglory in exchange for trying to resolve issues surrounding the Taipei Dome project, whose construction has been suspended by the city government since May last year.

The accusation came one day after Hung tendered his resignation, which Ko said he had not yet approved.

The mayor denied Wang’s accusations that he had forced Hung to resign, saying that Hung planned to “take a rest” after the elections on Saturday next week due to health issues.

Ko said he had not heard of Hung’s alleged offense and that he would deal with the issue if evidence is presented.

“If you have evidence, show it to me. Do not talk to the media,” Ko said.

Wang replied: “As the mayor, he should launch an investigation instead of asking a city councilor to do the job.”

When asked whether he would be willing to swear on Hung’s innocence, Ko said: “I am not going to vouch for anyone. I am not a deity... How would I dare?”

Hung said on Facebook that he would file libel charges against Wang.

Wang replied to Hung’s Facebook post, saying: “Be my guest,” adding that if Hung brought a lawsuit against him, it would help “reveal the truth.”

Wang said that an influential figure in the judiciary told him that Farglory chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄) divulged the alleged bribery when he was summoned by a court last month for questioning about bribing officials to expedite public housing projects in New Taipei City’s Linkou (林口) and Taoyuan’s Bade (八德) districts last year.

His source told him about Hung’s alleged corruption, Wang said, adding that he trusts the source.

Citing news that surfaced in November about CTBC Financial Holding Co attempting to take over the Dome project, Wang said it was proof that backroom dealings have been taking place in the Taipei City Government.

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