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Taichung prosecutors indict ex-TWC chair for bribery

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Taichung District Prosecutors Office yesterday indicted former Taiwan Water Co. (TWC, 台水) Chairman Hsu Hsiang-kun (徐享崑) on charges of corruption for unlawfully authorizing time extensions to a construction company on a contract project in exchange for NT$5 million in bribes.

Prosecutors stated that after taking the chairmanship at the TWC in September 2005, Huang in April of 2006 authorized a one-year extension for the Kintech Technology Co. (金棠科技) who had failed to deliver on their contractual obligations.

According to prosecutors, TWC in 2002 had awarded Kintech with a NT$900-million contract to build improvements at two greater Kaohsiung-based water purification facilities in Kaotan (拷潭) and Weng Gong Yuan (翁公園). Following a six-month trial run, TWC in November of 2003 deemed that Kintech had failed to deliver on their contractual obligations. The company in March of 2005 once again failed its second trial run, said prosecutors.

Most notably, prosecutors stated that Huang in July of 2004 had allegedly met with a representative from Kintech and had accepted NT$5 million in exchange for his approval for giving the company a third trial run following a one-year time extension to remedy inadequacies in meeting contractual obligations. Prosecutors noted that at the time Kintech was under tremendous pressure over the prospects of breaching its NT$900 million contract with the state-run water company, which would have sent the firm into bankruptcy. With Huang's intervention, Kintech was able to pass its third trial operation run in September of 2007, after nearly 5 years of delays.

Reports indicate that Hsu had served as the secretary to Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, and that despite his vehement denial of the accusations, prosecutors secured enough evidence of his guilt, including ledgers from the testimony of four informants.

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