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May 29, 2017

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Ex-lawmaker detained after repatriation

A former legislator was yesterday remanded in custody after a preliminary hearing on embezzlement charges against him, a day after he was repatriated from China where he had been hiding for nine years, prosecutors said.

Wang Chih-hsiung, 60, who is from a once politically influential family in Kaohsiung, stands accused of siphoning money from Chung Hsing Bank when he served as its vice chairman.

During questioning by prosecutors, Wang reportedly blamed his father — the now deceased former Kaohsiung Mayor Wang Yu-yun — for ruining his political career by denying him a chance to run for the speakership of the southern city's council.

He also told his daughter — who had accompanied him on his return to Taiwan — that he had done nothing wrong and would face the trial with peace of mind, according to the United Evening News.

The former legislator was nabbed in Dalian City by Chinese authorities last month and was returned to Taiwan by plane on Friday.

He was then questioned by prosecutors and later taken to the Taipei District Court for a preliminary hearing. The court ruled that he be detained.

Wang, who had been wanted for nine years, said he believed that if he could avoid arrest for another three years the embezzlement case against him would be closed, the United Evening News said. But he said he felt relieved now that he had been caught, the paper added.

According to the report, he had been using his real name while living in China during the past nine years.

Authorities in Taiwan had long ago notified China about Wang's wanted status, but Chinese authorities had not tracked him down until recently.

He fled to Shanghai and stayed there for several years before marrying a Chinese woman almost 20 years his junior and moving to Dalian. There, he bought an apartment worth about NT$15 million and kept a low-profile.

His daughter flew to Shanghai after learning that Wang had been arrested and would be flown back to Taiwan from the Chinese coastal city. During the flight back she was allowed to talk freely with her father, the United Evening News said.

The paper added that during his fugitive years in China, Wang had his attorney file a civil lawsuit against a certain party which he won, for which he was awarded damages of NT$80 million. In the writ his attorney submitted to the court it was clearly indicated that Wang was living in Shanghai.

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