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September 26, 2017

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Linkou project also involved in bribery: suspect

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taipei prosecutors yesterday said former college professor Tsai Jen-hui (蔡仁惠) — an alleged intermediary in a high-profile bribery case — has confessed that another affordable housing development project in Linkou District of New Taipei City is also involved in corruption.

Tsai, former Taoyuan County Deputy Magistrate Yeh Shih-wen (葉世文), Farglory Group Chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄) and Wei Chun-hsiung (魏春雄) — a senior executive at Farglory — are all currently being detained and held incommunicado over an alleged bribery case revolving around securing a contract for a public housing development project in Taoyuan.

Tsai allegedly assisted Chao in offering a bribe of NT$16 million in cash to Yeh to win the development contract in Taoyuan, which Farglory won this April with a NT$1.3 billion bid.

Prosecutors said both Chao and Wei have confessed that they bribed Yeh to secure the bid in Taoyuan. Prosecutors further cited Chao, saying that the realty tycoon made the decision and asked Wei to contact Tsai. The former college professor later gave the NT$16 million cash to Yeh, prosecutors added.

Chao, however, on Tuesday released a press statement via his attorney Chou Tsan-hsiung (周燦雄), saying that he was "forced" to offer the bribe to Yeh.

Yeh, on the other hand, claimed that the NT$16 million was not a bribe, but was a loan, the prosecutors said.

Citing Tsai's remarks, the prosecutors yesterday said Tsai bought a piece of wheeled luggage to load the cash, as he did not have a bag large enough to carry the NT$16 million. Tsai further said that Chao and Yeh were involved in another corruption case over another public housing project in Linkou in 2011, the prosecutors said.

A source in the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office (TDPO) was quoted by the Central News Agency as saying that Tsai is offering as much information as he can in an attempt to become a suspect-turned-prosecution-witness.

The source said that if prosecutors find that Tsai significantly contributes to the case, the TDPO might agree to put the Witness Protection Act into affect for Tsai and not indict him over the case.

TDPO spokesman Huang Mou-hsin (黃謀信) later told reporters that the TDPO cannot tell the public whether or not Tsai has applied to be a prosecution witness, noting that, however, prosecutors will first see if Tsai's statements meet the regulations of the Witness Protection Act and then handle his case accordingly.

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