Kaohsiung official, police in alleged cover-up probe

SWITCHEROO::A whistle-blower said that police had a passenger in a crash take a Breathalyzer test instead of the city councilor who they were allegedly protecting

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Jan 13, 2018 - Page 3

Kaohsiung prosecutors yesterday summoned a city councilor, four police officers and nine other people for questioning as part of an investigation into alleged collusion and a cover-up of a drunk driving incident last year.

Kaohsiung City Councilor Chou Chung-chan of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) allegedly pressured the police to cover up the incident, the Ciaotou District (橋頭) Prosecutors’ Office said.

The cover-up reportedly involved high-ranking police officers, with a Nanzih District (楠梓) precinct chief surnamed Chen (陳) and three members of the precinct’s traffic division summoned for questioning over the case.

Allegations of unlawful actions by the police followed a single-vehicle crash in Nanzih in May last year.

Police arrived at the scene and administered a Breathalyzer test, which was reportedly passed by the purported driver, a woman.

However, a whistle-blower reported the incident to the judiciary, saying that police colluded in a cover-up to protect someone by having the woman take the test instead of the actual driver, a man who allegedly caused the crash because he was driving drunk.

Prosecutors reportedly uncovered evidence pointing to Chou using his position to pressure Chen, who then allegedly instructed traffic division officers to go along with the cover-up of the incident.

The Ciaotou District Prosecutors’ Office and units of the Criminal Investigation Bureau yesterday raided the offices of traffic police at the Nanzih precinct and a local police station to collect documents and case files.

Following the operation, Chou, the four police officers and nine other people were summoned for questioning regarding their involvement in the case, either as witnesses or as persons of interest.

Prosecutors said they had gathered the key evidence of communications records and telephone conversations between Chou, Chen and the others who allegedly colluded to cover up the incident.

By law, the definition of driving under the influence as tested by a Breathalyzer is a blood alcohol level of 0.15 milligrams per liter or greater.