Nantou magistrate’s office, home searched

The China Post news staff

NANTOU, Taiwan — Nantou district prosecutors searched the office and residence of Lee Chao-ching, Kuomintang magistrate of the landlocked county, in an unannounced probe into alleged public works contract rigging. Lee had to ask for leave from a Nantou county council meeting to stay in company with five prosecutors, who seized documents and other papers at his office and home. Prosecutors also questioned at least ten Nantou county government officials, including director of social affairs Hsiung Chun-ping. One official the prosecutors wanted most to question was out of the country. He is Wei Chuan-wei, secretary to the county magistrate. Agents in Nantou of the Investigation Bureau of the Justice Ministry joined in the raids. They refused to identify what contracts were awarded unlawfully.

The magistrate denied any wrong-doing.

“Their search was totally unexpected,” Lee said. “My administration is clean,” he stressed. He said he does not believe he was suspected of corruption.

“I believe they came to have a cup of tea with me,” said Lee, who assumed office as magistrate of Nantou in 2006.