Prosecutors ask court to detain 11 in graft case

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 - Page 3

New Taipei City (新北市) prosecutors yesterday filed a request with the New Taipei City District Court to detain 11 people suspected of involvement in corruption.

Among them were Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lu Hsueh-chang’s (呂學樟) aide Hsu Ju-sung (徐如松), and KMT councilors Lin Pao-kuang (林保光), Lin Kuang-jung (林光榮), Chao Yi-hsien (趙一先) and Liu Liang-pin (劉良彬).

Meanwhile, prosecutors released independent councilor Cheng Mei-chin (鄭美琴) on NT$10 million (US$345,000) bail and five others on bail of between NT$200,000 and NT$1 million.

The New Taipei City District Prosecutors’ Office on Thursday raided 50 locations and questioned 30 people — including Hsu, five Hsinchu County councilors and several Hsinchu County school principals — who are suspected of accepting more than NT$10 million in kickbacks in school procurement deals.

The prosecutors said they suspected that three book and computer software suppliers asked Hsu and the five councilors to help them win contracts in 2011 to supply books and software to 25 elementary and junior high schools in the county.

The contractors allegedly sold the schools those materials at prices two to five times higher than market prices, and more than NT$10 million allegedly was paid to Hsu and the councilors as kickbacks, the prosecutors said.

Lu, who represents Hsinchu City, told a press conference on Thursday afternoon that he and his office helped schools apply for subsidies from the Hsinchu County Government to purchase books and computer software, but they did not handle the money.

He also defended the integrity of his long-time aide and accused the investigators of contempt of the legislature for raiding a lawmaker’s office without giving notice.