Prosecutor indicted for corruption by High Court
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Prosecutors yesterday indicted a colleague on corruption charges for allegedly protecting an illegal gambling operation in return for bribe money of over NT$23 million.
March 9, 2013, 12:09 am TWN
The law enforcement official, Chen Yu-chen (陳玉珍), must be given the “severest punishment possible” for the crime of corruption that she is alleged to have committed, the indictment by the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors Office said.
The indictment did not indicate a specific prison term for Chen, who is the first woman prosecutor ever indicted for corruption. “Severest punishment” could mean a life sentence.
According to the indictment, Chen ran an intricate money-laundering scheme with the help of a lawyer, Kuo Hsueh-lien. It said she started taking bribes from Shih Yung-hua in March 2000 in return for the prosecutor's protection of his illegal gambling operations in Taipei County, now renamed New Taipei.
The pair used the bank accounts of their families and friends and investments in securities and properties to launder bribe money, which totaled NT$23.25 million.
Shih gave Chen a monthly sum for six years and eight months until June 2006. During the period, the prosecutor had been handling all the cases submitted by police following crackdowns on Shih's operations, but she had never pressed charges.
Kuo — who is a former Banqiao district prosecutor — and Shih were both also charged, but the prosecution is seeking a more lenient punishment for the latter because he had turned himself in.
Her alleged crime had not been detected until recently when a woman filed a complaint over her husband's gambling addiction. She filed a neglect of responsibility case against the husband, which was then handled by another prosecutor rather than Chen.
The prosecutor subsequently uncovered the alleged crime during his probe, the United Evening News said.
The paper noted that Chen had been able to protect Shih's operations by “monopolizing” his cases when submitted by police.
She managed to take charge of the very first case in 2000, and as she did not close it, all others related to Shih were referred to her. She had handled a total of 31 cases related to Shih, according to the paper.
Chen was a district prosecutor in Ilan when she was introduced to Shih in 1996 through a police chief in Taipei County. She was later transferred to the Banqiao District Prosecutors Office, and started helping Shih, the paper said.
She was promoted to the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors Office in September 2004, but continued to heap pressure on Banqiao district prosecutors in favor of Shih, the paper said.
The Special Investigation Division (SID) — a team of prosecutors at the Supreme Court level handling corruption cases involving government officials — recommended that a probe be opened to determine whether the former head of the Banqiao prosecutors office, Yang Shih-tu, should be held responsible for failing to supervise Chen.
The SID said it will ask the Ministry of Justice to refer Yang to the highest government watchdog, the Control Yuan.