Six City Councilors Detained in Construction Scandal
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) _ Police arrested six members of Taipei’s City Council in connection with a bribery scandal involving the construction of a $360 million shopping and entertainment complex, officials said Sunday.
The officials said District Court Prosecutor Tsai Hung-hsui ordered the six detained after he investigated claims that they received bribes to reverse a council decision against building the complex at a private park in downtown Taipei.
Under municipal regulations, the council must approve major construction changes in public and private parks.
Officials said construction magnate Huang Chou-hsuan reported his Chiao Fu Construction Co. gave at least $580,000 in cash and gifts to councilmen Chou Po-lun, 35, and Chen Chun-yuan, 34, in May to be distributed among the councilors to influence their votes.
A day after the payment, Chou, Chen and the other four councilors reversed their earlier ″no″ votes and backed the construction plan, which then was passed by the 48-member council, the officials said.
Officials identified the other councilors detained as Chou Chen An-chun and Hsu Wen-lung of the governing Nationalist Party, and Kang Shui-mu and Wang Kun-ho of the major opposition Democratic Progressive Party.
Chen is a member of the Nationalist Party and Chou Po-lun belongs to the Democratic Progressive Party. Officials said they would pursue their investigation of Huang after he returns from a visit to Hong Kong.
All six councilors have denied accepting bribes but prosecutor Tsai plans to file charges against them later this month, officials said. All have been refused bail.
If convicted, they could be sentenced to death or life imprisonment.