KMT lawmaker’s top aide detained in bribery case

Taipei,  Taipei prosecutors on Wednesday obtained a court order to detain the chief aide to Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) on suspicion of involvement in a high-profile bribery case.

In the latest development in the case, the Taipei District Court granted the order for Liang Wen-i (梁文一) to be detained and held incommunicado, after prosecutors said in their filing that he had been attempting to collude with other suspects.

Liang is the chief of staff at the office of KMT Legislator Chen, one of three lawmakers currently in detention on accusations of accepting bribes from a businessman to help promote his interests.

The other two legislators are Liao Kuo-tung (廖國棟), also of the KMT, and Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

The three lawmakers allegedly had been accepting bribes since 2013 from former Pacific Distribution Investment Co. Chairman Lee Heng-lung (李恆隆), who has been pushing for a law amendment to gain an edge in his legal battle against the Far Eastern Group over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department store chain.

Liang and the three legislators were arrested July 31 during a raid on their homes and offices, and Liang was released on bail the next day.

After Liang’s release on NT$100,000 bail, however, prosecutors said he had been attempting to collude with others involved in the case and there was a risk that he would destroy evidence.

Taipei prosecutors, therefore, summoned him on Tuesday and filed a request with the Taipei court for him to be detained and held incommunicado.

The case also involves two former lawmakers — Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明), former chairman of the New Power Party (NPP) and Mark Chen (陳唐山) of the DPP — who are also accused of taking bribes from Lee.

Su’s former aide Kuo Ke-ming (郭克銘), meanwhile, was accused of serving as Lee’s middleman, passing the bribes to the lawmakers and their aides.

Lee and Kuo are also in detention and being held incommunicado on a Taipei court order.


Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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