Prosecutors launch new raids against judicial corruption
Investigators search18 locations in the Taipei area, Taoyuan County and Hsinchu County
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
Page 2
2010-08-12 11:18 AM
Investigators raided 18 locations in Northern Taiwan and detained five suspects yesterday in a case surrounding the alleged bribing of High Court judges, reports said.

Last month, three judges and a prosecutor were taken into custody for their alleged part in accepting bribes to overturn a verdict in a corruption case against former Kuomintang legislator Ho Chi-hui. The politician disappeared on the eve of the raids.

In the latest investigation, one of the judges detained in the Ho case, Tsai Kuang-chih, was suspected of accepting money to change a 12-year prison sentence into a not-guilty verdict for Chang Ping-lung, a High Court judge based in Hualien. Chang himself was being tried for receiving NT$300,000 (US$9,400) in 1996 from a citizen who wanted a verdict changed.

Investigators from the Taipei Prosecutors Office and the Special Investigation Division under the Supreme Prosecutors Office searched 18 locations in the Taipei area, Taoyuan County and Hsinchu County, including the homes of a High Court judge and an attorney, reports said. Apart from the five suspects, a further 19 witnesses were reportedly hauled in for questioning.

The first wave of investigations into High Court corruption touched off a wave of indignation at the abuse of power by judges and politicians. Ho was a senior lawmaker and also served as Miaoli County Magistrate for many years with the approval of the KMT leadership. Questions were asked about his escape right before the visit from investigators. As usual in cases of missing suspects, media hinted Ho might have moved to China.

The allegations against the High Court judges led President Ma Ying-jeou to announce plans for the formation of a new anti-corruption administration under the Ministry of Justice. Critics said the functions of the new body might overlap with those of existing organizations such as the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau.

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