Two Kaohsiung City officials indicted for forgery

Staff Writer, with CNA

Tue, Nov 23, 2010 - Page 2

The Kaohsiung Prosecutors’ Office yesterday indicted Tseng Wen-sheng (曾文生), chief of Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu’s (陳菊) office, and Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆), secretary-general of the city’s Tourism Bureau, over allegations that they had forged Chen’s schedule for the day Typhoon Fanapi caused severe flooding in the city.

According to the indictment, a number of accidents had been reported in Kaohsiung from 3pm on Sept. 19, which had been declared a typhoon day in the city. To cover the fact that Chen was still taking a rest at her residence during that time, Tseng and Lai allegedly forged her schedule for the afternoon to avoid criticism of her.

To avoid a blank period in her schedule, Tseng and Lai wrote that she was scheduled for city inspections from 2pm to 5pm, including inspections in the city’s severely flooded Sanmin District (三民).

Responding to the indictments, Tseng and Lai said the schedule was “a careless written mistake.”

Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟), spokesman for Chen’s campaign headquarters, said Tseng and Lai displayed the schedule to the city council and media to clarify some false accusations against Chen.

A TV talk show falsely accused Chen of campaigning for her re-election on that afternoon was to blame, Chao said.

He said the mayor’s daily schedule was provided to the media for reference only and that the schedule was not an official document.

As a result, the crime of document forgery does not exist subjectively or objectively, Chao said, adding that Tseng and Lai would defend their reputations in court.

Prosecutors announced on Friday that they would not indict Chen and Kaohsiung County Commissioner Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) for negligence of duty on the day of the typhoon.

Additional reporting by staff writer