KMT Taipei councilor Lai released on NT$15m bail

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Aug 24, 2013 - Page 4

The Taipei District Court yesterday released Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Lai Su-ju (賴素如) on NT$15 million bail.

Lai, first detained on March 30, is barred from leaving the country or relocating her residence and is required to report to a police station every day at 10am, the court added.

Lai, a lawyer who served as director of the KMT chairman’s office for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and was deputy head of the party’s information department as well as a member of the KMT Central Standing Committee, stands accused of taking bribes in relation to the Taipei Twin Towers project.

A consortium led by Taipei Gateway International Development Co won the tender in October last year with a NT$70 billion (US$2.4 billion) bid.

However, it lost the rights to the project in February when it failed to put up a bond by the required deadline.

Prosecutors allege that Lai struck a deal with the consortium to receive a NT$10 million bribe in three installments — NT$1 million as a down payment, NT$3 million after Taipei Gateway International Development had signed the contract with the Taipei City Government to build the Twin Towers and NT$6 million once the construction had started.

Lai has admitted to taking a NT$1 million payment, but said she considered it to be a “political donation.”

The KMT Disciplinary Committee suspended her membership of the party in April due to her alleged involvement in the scandal.