Former Kuomintang lawmaker Ho Chi-hui was still missing yesterday amid questions over his disappearance just before prosecutors detained three judges and a prosecutor suspected of accepting bribes to find him not guilty of corruption.Taiwan News said in a similar report:
The four men, Ho's secretary and one of the judges' woman acquaintances were locked up in solitary confinement on Wednesday on suspicion of having accepted a total of NT$8 million (US$249,000) from the former lawmaker.
Ho, who also served as Miaoli County Magistrate, was initially sentenced to 19 years in prison for corruption surrounding a land deal, but the Taiwan High Court overturned the verdict and found him not guilty last month.
Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming said the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau was looking into how Ho managed to disappear shortly before raids on his office and other locations began early Tuesday morning. He expressed confidence in prosecutors based in Miaoli County despite reports which hinted they were responsible for leaking news of the imminent raids to Ho.
The court had barred Ho from leaving the country because it reasoned he posed a flight risk. His wife, former KMT lawmaker Wang Su-chun, has been living in China for several years, reports said.
According to media reports, Ho paid the judges separately, sometimes through his secretary, who was an old acquaintance of one of the judges’ close friends. On some occasions, Ho would drive to the Judicial Yuan’s parking lot and pay High Court judge Tsai Kuang-chih there, reports said.One of the judges accused of corruption in this case, Chen Chung-ho sat on the trial of Chen Shui-bian's son-in-law Chao Chien-ming. Taipei Times reported that he is also on the Judicial Yuan's disciplinary and personnel evaluation boards. The Judicial Yuan President is coming under fire to resign in the wake of this case.
Another of the three judges detained, Lee Chun-ti, was recorded by a surveillance camera leaving an underground parking lot carrying a paper bag he did not have with him when entering, reports said. The bag reportedly contained money from Ho handed to Lee by Chiu Mao-jung, a prosecutor who once served in Miaoli when Ho was magistrate in the county.
Media also reported that some of the accused owned considerable amounts of land and shares, hinting that those assets might have been the result of corruption.
Meanwhile the politician on the run is...still on the run. I'd bet that he'll turn up in China, but I doubt I could find anyone to cover me.
By happy coincidence (for the KMT) Chen Shui-bian was in the news again distracting the public again today as US officials moved to seize two residences in the US which were allegedly obtained with the Chen family's ill-gotten gains.
Homeland Security Director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement John Morton said the complaints reflect the US’ determination not to allow itself to be abused by corrupt foreign officials.Yes, I'm sure such officials around the world are quaking in their boots. Chen Shui-bian's son pointed out that the seizure was illogical since the Court in Taiwan has not made a decision on the alleged Yuanta bribery case, assuming that case is why the US moved on the properties.
“This serves as a warning to those ... officials who abuse their power for personal financial gain and then attempt to place those funds in the US financial system,” he said.
- Global Views tracking poll on party identification in Taiwan
- Wayne C passed around this Taoyuan county video warning scooter drivers about how to drive properly: a compendium of gut wrenching accidents.
- Excellent piece on Kaohsiung factional infighting in both parties.
- DPP face slapper gets 30 days for rough and tumble in the Legislature.
- Taiwan News offers a video news report on the Defense of Marriage Act citing Catholic Archbishop Kelly of Louisville warning that "defending" marriage protects children, "often the most vulnerable among us." Not only does that resurrect the totally evil smear that gays are pedophiles, but Kelly himself should know all about vulnerable children: he covered up for pedophile priests in the 1980s. Apr 9, 2003, Courier-Journal: "In March 1983, Louisville Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly became aware that a local pastor had sexually molested a 15-year-old boy but allowed the Rev. Thomas Creagh to continue leading St. Albert the Great parish. Two memos written for his own file, and initialed or signed by Kelly on March 9 and June 14 in 1983, show that the archbishop was fearful of church scandal and worked to keep the incident from becoming public." This kind of sick hypocrisy is something Taiwan News should be exposing, not repeating.
- Savage Minds on anthropology in virtual worlds
- U of Toronto to shut down its huge East Asian studies program
- Oxford Study Group: Effects of Israeli attack on Iran. Among which would be, Iranian retaliation against the US. No real mention of China, the largest investor in Iran
[Taiwan] Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!