Prosecutors appeal to High Court over release of Chao

DETAIN HIM: Prosecutors said the decision to free Chao was based on faulty reasoning, as NTU hospital banned Chao from going into any restricted areas


Sat, Jul 15, 2006 - Page 3

Taipei prosecutors yesterday filed an appeal against the Taipei District Court's decision to release the president's son-in-law Chao Chien-ming (趙建銘) on bail.

The appeal will be handled and processed by the Taiwan High Court.

The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office said it believed its appeal would be granted, because the district court's verdict to release Chao on NT$10 million (US$312,500) bail was based on illogical reasoning.

"The verdict said: `The reasons to detain the defendant [Chao] still exist, but there is no need to detain the defendant at this moment.' This is an obvious contradiction," said the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office Chief Prosecutor Lin Chin-kang (林勤綱), who filed the appeal yesterday.

If the appeal is granted, the Taipei District Court will have to hold new hearings and decide whether Chao's release on bail should stand. If the court then decides that it should not, Chao will have to return immediately to the Taipei Detention Center.

Meanwhile, National Taiwan University (NTU) Hospital yesterday said that Chao will not be allowed to enter restricted areas of the hospital.

Chao, an orthopedist at NTU hospital, has been suspended from practicing at the hospital since he was detained on suspicion of insider trading on May 25.

In a statement yesterday, the hospital said Chao is not allowed to enter restricted areas such as operating theaters or the emergency room, and that he must be accompanied by hospital guards when entering his office.

Although he has been relieved of his duties, Chao is still a hospital employee, the statement said, and thus can move around in non-restricted areas of the hospital.

The NTU hospital issued the press release after days of criticism about its "overindulgence," including giving Chao a speedy promotion and spacious office before the insider-trading scandal came to light, and allowing him freedom to move around the hospital after his release on bail on Monday.

Chao, who was detained for 47 days, was seen leading his brother, a doctor in Tainan, into an operating theater at the hospital to shake off the paparazzi who have hounded him since his release.

Hospital public relations officers said that Superintendent Lin Fang-yu (林芳郁) was very upset to see photographs of Chao taking an elevator to the operating theater again on Thursday.

Chao can apply to be reinstated at the hospital in three months.

Additional reporting by Jean Lin