Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Former Changhua County chief rejects corruption allegations

Former Changhua County chief rejects corruption allegations

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Changhua County Magistrate Cho Po-yuan on Friday rejected allegations that unclear funds had flowed into accounts belonging to friends and relatives as payment for a development project.
He was the latest top local Kuomintang official to face accusations related to corruption. Cho ran the central Taiwanese county from 2006 to 2014 and failed to be elected in a legislative by-election in January.
The Chinese-language Apple Daily reportedly accused him of having received NT$50 million (US$1.58 million) in connection with expropriations for the development of a textile museum.
A prominent supermarket owner in Central Taiwan had moved the money into bank accounts held by two relatives of Cho’s wife, the newspaper alleged. According to the report, the expropriations were illegal and favored the supermarket chairman’s family.
Prosecutors questioned Cho’s wife’s relatives in connection with alleged money laundering and released them on bail of NT$2 million (US$63,000) each. They summoned Cho and his wife for questioning three times, but three times, the former county leader failed to appear, the Apple Daily reported. If he did not visit prosecutors the fourth time, he could face stronger action, the paper wrote.
At a news conference to respond to the media allegations, Cho said the expropriations had been started by his predecessor. All such actions were conducted according to the law and had been open and transparent, he said.
Cho said he had received the summons from prosecutors to appear for questioning as a witness after he left office last December 25, but because he was preparing his bid for lawmaker he had asked for leave. The second time, he had to travel around to thank his voters while on the third occasion, it was the prosecutor who was prevented from turning up and who had canceled the meeting, Cho said.
Because the summons did not mention which case the meeting with prosecutors was supposed to deal with, Cho said he had no idea what he had to testify about. As to the museum case, it had been started before he took office as county magistrate, but it later failed to garner a lot of enthusiasm so there was no progress on the issue. It was clear that he could not have favored certain business interests and that no funds flowed into accounts with connections to him, according to Cho.
The former county leader said he would discuss the likelihood of legal action with his attorneys.
KMT Chairman Eric Liluan Chu refused to answer reporters’ questions about the case, saying he was too busy with local affairs in New Taipei City, where he serves as mayor.


Updated : 2021-09-19 17:33 GMT+08:00