Farglory chairman defends against bribery charges

By Lauly Li, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Farglory Group Chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄) yesterday told local media reporters that he was forced and demanded by former Taoyuan Deputy Magistrate Yeh Shih-wen (葉世文) and college professor Tsai Jen-hui (蔡仁惠) to give the money, stressing that he did not take the initiative to bribe the two men.

Chao is accused of ordering Wei Chun-hsiung (魏春雄) — a senior Farglory executive — to give a bribe to Yeh via intermediary Tsai to secure an affordable public housing project in Bade District of Taoyuan County.

The Taipei District Prosecutors Office on July 25 concluded their investigation into the alleged bribery case and indicted the four aforementioned suspects on charges under the Anti-corruption Act.

The Taipei District Court later ruled that Yeh continue to be detained and held incommunicado, and it released Chao and Wei on bails of NT$30 million and NT$5 million respectively.

The court also ruled that Chao and Wei must from July 28 report to the nearest police station in their residential areas every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. as proof that they have not fled the country. Speaking to reporters in the media for the first time after his release from the detention center, Chao said the money he gave to Yeh and Tsai was his own savings. He said that he did not “touch” Farglory’s fund, stressing that he did not harm the interests of Farglory shareholders. He even did not take a salary or transportation allowances from the company for himself, Chao said. Chao’s Defense Chao said previously he only knew “10 percent” of what was going on with the Bade affordable housing project, noting that after he was released by the court and read all the relevant information, he discovered that Yeh and Tsai have said a lot of inaccurate information to prosecutors. Chao added that he will “restore” the truth before a court session begins. The real estate tycoon further said he gave the money to Yeh because he needed to survive, noting that “I could not have survived if I offended Yeh at that time.” Chao reiterated that he did not bribe Yeh and Tsai, stressing that it was the pair who demanded and forced him to give them money. Chao said he will spend his life defending his credibility, noting that he would rather die than lose his credibility. He noted that, however, if he dies, he will choose to die in Taiwan rather than any other country.

Noting that the Farglory Group has the Taipei Dome construction project pending completion and the firm has over 10,000 employees, Chao said, therefore, he will “definitely” not flee the country.