Entire Dome review committee listed as suspects

By Chien Li-chung  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Aug 22, 2017 - Page 3

All members of the Taipei Dome review committee have been listed by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office as defendants, as prosecutors investigate allegations involving the Dome’s safety reviews.

Many of the committee members, all of whom are experts from non-governmental agencies, were summoned for questioning yesterday.

Farglory Group (遠雄集團) won the Dome’s tender in 2003 and began negotiations with the Taipei City Government about the build-operate-transfer contract. It was eventually allowed to construct the Dome without having to pay any royalties to the city government.

Many civil groups said that the safety reviews were problematic and accused some of the reviewers of working in Farglory’s favor.

The summoned reviewers all rejected allegations that they had worked to benefit Farglory.

Some of the reviewers’ families said that they only received meager allowances for the job, but were implicated in the scandal for no reason, affecting their positions at universities.

The families said that former Taiwan Architecture and Building Center chief executive officer Hsu Ming-wen (許銘文) was the one covering for the company.

Hsu was summoned for questioning in June about allegations of profiteering, and was released on NT$500,000 bail.

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was summoned on Wednesday as a defendant over accusations that he benefited Farglory during his tenure as Taipei mayor when the city government started negotiating the contract with the company in 2004.

Ma was allowed to leave after being questioned for more than eight hours, while former Taipei Department of Finance commissioner Lee Sush-der (李述德), who was also summoned for questioning on Wednesday, was banned from leaving the country after a questioning session of about 14 hours.

During the questioning, prosecutors had to present many pieces of evidence to help Lee recall the circumstances, as he said he could not remember details of the negotiation.

The prosecutors’ office yesterday said they were comparing the defendants’ accounts with that of former Farglory Group vice president Tsai Chung-i (蔡宗易), the Dome’s original designer Liu Pei-sen (劉培森) and the group’s chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄), and would not rule out summoning Ma again for questioning.