Former Navy captain in frigate scandal released
By Chi-hao James Lo ,The China Post
December 18, 2013, 12:14 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Former Navy Captain Kuo Li-heng (郭力恆) was released from the Taipei Prison earlier this month, said Ministry of Defense official Shen Shih-wei (沈世偉) yesterday, after being transferred from the Ministry of National Defense Tainan Military Prison. Kuo has been a person of interest in several cases revolving around the infamous Lafayette frigate procurement scandal.
As a result of the current reform in the Military Justice Act as well as President Ma Ying-jeou's human resource consolidation policy, the Tainan Military Prison has been planned to take its post in history, calling for the prison's management to transfer over 240 military prisoners out of the facility on Aug. 15. Among which included Kuo, who served as a captain in the Warship Project Management Department of the Taiwanese Navy prior to his imprisonment.
Serving in the same department as his late colleague Yin Ching-feng (尹清楓), Kuo was suspected of being involved in the Yin's homicide in 1993. Being involved in the purchase of the Lafayette frigates as well as minesweepers amounting to NT$115 billion, Yin was said to have discovered incriminating evidence against several individuals set to profit from the contracts, going as far as former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and former Premier Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村). Three months after Yin's arrival to France to inspect the frigates, his body was found at sea near Yilan.
Kuo was believed to have motive in the homicide of Yin. As Kuo was set to be discharged from the military back in 1993, Kuo's fellow brethren from his military fraternity, the “Green Gang,” arms dealer Andrew Wang (汪傳浦) and the late Chan I-cheng (單亦誠), were accused of leaking inside information to Kuo.
Kuo's motive was established as an act to protect his interests, as well as other members of his fraternity.
Evidence including the fatal wound on Yin's neck pointed toward the modus operandi of the Green Gang. However, no direct connection could be established, besides naming the suspects as people of interests, with Kuo being sentenced to 20 years in prison for his involvement in the minesweeper scandal and obstruction of justice.