Suspects stay in custody in bribery probe

The China Post news staff

Two suspended senior judges, one of their former colleagues plus two others were ordered to remain in custody yesterday pending further investigations after they refused to plead guilty to corruption charges.

All other suspects among the 13 people indicted on Monday were set free or let go after posting bails following their admitting to have accepted or played a role in the illegal monetary transactions that affected the court verdicts.

Prosecutors at the Special Investigation Division (SID) under the Supreme Prosecutors Office said Taiwan High Court judges Tsai Kuang-chih and Chen Jung-ho have not yet confessed to their accepting bribes. The prosecution sought a lengthy imprisonment of 24 years for Tsai and an 18-year imprisonment for Chen plus fines,

Prosecutors wanted to keep them detained to prevent possible collusion on statements before the court trials. At the hearing held at the Taipei District Court yesterday, Chen still denied that he had taken any bribes.

He insisted that the NT$1.3 million in cash found in his office included the condolence money received at his parents’ funerals and some sums raised after he joined some private savings clubs organized by friends and colleagues. He also told prosecutors that the indictment did not mean he is guilty. He challenged them to present solid evidence concerning his taking bribes in future court proceedings. The court also ruled to continue detaining Chiu Chuang-shun, who worked as a lawyer after serving at the high court. Other indicted suspects ordered to remain in custody included Tsai’s girlfriend Huang-Lai Jui-jen and Chiu’s wife, Duan Mei-yueh. Both women had allegedly handled money transactions. But the court allowed the release of suspended judge Lee Chun-ti and Fang A-sheng, a retired Taiwan High Court judge, after they posted a bail of NT$2 million each. Both Lee and Fang have admitted to have accepted bribes as charged by prosecutors. When walking out of the court after her daughter paid the bail for him, Fang said it’s a karma and he has to accept what he deserves for certain acts he took in the past.