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September 26, 2017

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Farglory chief appeals court's decision

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Farglory Chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄) yesterday appealed the district court's June 2 decision to place him under detention in an ongoing corruption investigation.

As of press time, the Taiwan High Court is still discussing whether or not to retract Chao's detention ruling and send the case back to district court.

The high court, before office hours closed at around 9 p.m. yesterday, received a written statement of reasons for appeal by Chao's attorneys and held a court hearing to discuss the appeal.

The Taipei District Prosecutors Office (TDPO) yesterday said it received on June 1 intelligence claiming that the Farglory Group was transferring boxes of relevant documents via trucks to a paper recycling plant in Taoyuan County.

The prosecutors immediately requested that Agency Against Corruption (AAC) officials and police officers intercept the trucks, the TDPO said, adding that the officials raided the recycling plant and discovered a total of 69 boxes of relevant evidence belonging to Farglory.

The TDPO said it later brought this new evidence to the attention of judges at the district court, noting that it believes Chao's attempt to destroy the boxes of evidence was the reason the district court detained and held Chao incommunicado on the morning of June 2.

Chao and Wei are being investigated on allegations of paying a bribe of NT$16 million through an intermediary to Taoyuan County Deputy Magistrate Yeh Shih-wen (葉世文) to win a public building contract, which Farglory won in April with a NT$1.3 billion bid.

The AAC on May 30 raided Farglory's headquarters in Taipei and the homes of the suspects, seizing NT$17 million in cash from Yeh's home and another NT$1.12 million from his county government office.

Yeh and Tsai Jen-hui, the alleged intermediary, were both detained by district court on May 31.

Chao, Wei Admit Paying NT$16 Mil. Bribe to Yeh

On June 1 during a detention hearing, Chao and Wei both confessed that they paid a NT$16-million bribe to Yeh via Tsai — a former college professor — to secure the public housing development project contract, the court said, noting that Chao and Wei's actions are a potential violation of the Anti-Corruption Act.

Farglory Land Development Company yesterday afternoon released a press statement saying that it has appointed Chao Wen-chia (趙文嘉), Chao Teng-hsiung's eldest son, as its acting chairman, adding that the company is being run by professional managers and will not be affected by the detention of Chao.

The TDPO on May 30 asked to detain Chao, Yeh and Wei Chun-hsiung (魏春雄), a senior executive at Farglory, and the district court on May 31 ruled to release Chao and Wei on bail of NT$5 million and NT$1 million, respectively. The prosecutors later appealed the court's ruling.

The Taiwan High Court on June 1 retracted the ruling and transferred the case back to district court. The Taipei District Court on the morning of June 2 ruled that Chao and Wei be detained and held incommunicado.

Farglory Group's attorney immediately said the firm will appeal the district court's ruling, adding that he will submit a written statement of reasons for appeal later to the Taiwan High Court.

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