Lai released on NT$15 mil. bail in Twin Towers bribery scandal
By Katherine Wei ,The China postTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Former Taipei City Councilor Lai Su-ju (賴素如) was released on a bail of NT$15 million after being granted permission by the Taipei District Court yesterday.
August 24, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
According to the court, it is not necessary to detain Lai for the time being, but Lai is forbidden to leave the nation, confined to her house and ordered to report to the local police every night after her release.
Lai had been detained since the end of March and indicted in July for her alleged involvement in the controversial Twin Towers bidding process, in which she — as the Taipei City Council's transportation whip — was suspected of having pulled strings to ensure that the Taipei Gateway International Development Co., Ltd. (TGID, 太極雙星) would win the bid in exchange for NT$10 million, with real estate developer Peng Chien-ming (彭建銘) allegedly acting as the transmitter of the graft.
Prosecutors also indicted in March real estate developer Cheng Hung-tao (程宏道), former Taipei City Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) official Chia Erh-ching (賈二慶) and Peng.
The reported agreement between Lai and the TGID was exposed after Lai had only received NT$1 million, which she claimed to be political donations from her “old friend” Peng.
Now widely known for her role as the alleged “graft-receiver” in the bribery case, Lai attended her second court session regarding the case yesterday along with fellow defendant Peng, who testified as a tainted witness. Before his testimony, Peng admitted to his transgression in the case, then said that Lai had in fact received NT$1 million from the now disqualified bidder TGID.
Lai and Her Smiles
According to Peng, Lai had smiled upon receiving the NT$1 million and inquired about the next sum of money that TGID promised her, also attempting to raise the amount of the graft to NT$15 million. Upon hearing Peng's accusations, Lai was reported to have smiled in her seat and shook her head wordlessly.
Peng had taken NT$1 million from Cheng and delivered it to Lai at her office, relaying his gratitude for her help. Peng stated that he was a businessman, when Lai smiled he took it for granted that she had agreed to help the TGID.
As the TGID's construction plans had been vetoed by the Legislature before its second reading, Cheng had refused to pay Lai the remaining money; but Lai had insisted that Cheng keep his promise and called the company inquiring about the next installment.
The next court session of the bribery case is set to be held on Aug. 27.