Kuo released on bail after long questioning session

Ex-transportation minister insists she is innocent of corruption

Former MOTC ministers Kuo Yao-chi

Kuo Yao-chi

Former MOTC ministers Kuo Yao-chi

Ex-Minister of Transportation and Communications Kuo Yao-chi (郭瑤琪) was released on bail of NT$600,000 early yesterday morning after being questioned for 13 hours by investigators for alleged corruption.
"Kuo was released on bail of NT$600,000 and was restricted from leaving Taiwan on the grounds of alleged involvement in corruption," Taipei District Prosecutors Office spokesman Fred Lin said.
Kuo, however, insisted that she did nothing wrong and denied prosecutors' accusation that she took a US$20,000 bribe from a businessman, Lee Ching-po, and his son. Prosecutors learned that the Lee family was a potential bidder in a tender in August for the renovation plan of Taipei Main Station and alleged that the Lees offered Kuo the money for her assistance in winning the bid.
The Lees eventually decided not to take part in the tender, which prosecutors believed occurred because Kuo suddenly resigned from her post on August 7.
The ex-minister attributed the move to differences of opinion on policy issues with her superiors, believed at the time to be Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).
Local newspapers quoted anonymous sources from the prosecution that investigators believed the Lees abandoned the opportunity because they were not confident of winning the bid following Kuo's resignation.
Prosecutors of Taipei and Tainan worked together to investigate the allegations on Tuesday by subpoenaing Kuo and MOTC Vice Minister Ho Nuan-hsuan in Taipei and the Lees in Tainan separately. Ho, who at the time was acting director-general of the Taiwan Railway Administration, told reporters on Tuesday night that the prosecuting attorneys subpoenaed him as a witness to help them clarify the case.
Tainan prosecutors otherwise transferred Lee Ching-po and his son to Taipei Tuesday evening for further questioning. Both of them were released at 2 a.m. yesterday.
When Kuo was released on bail at 3 a.m. yesterday, she merely related that "I have told prosecutors everything inside the court," in the face of reporters' inquiries.
Sources from the Taipei District Prosecutors Office revealed that prosecutors decided to release Kuo on bail on the grounds that she may have taken the bribe for a purpose unrelated to her public function.
The source also disclosed that prosecutors did not detain Lee Ching-po Tuesday because he enjoys criminal immunity as an elected official. Formerly a national policy adviser to President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Lee Ching-po is currently the speaker of a township council in Pingtung County and also runs a growing conglomerate comprising hotel and catering services in national highway rest areas.

Updated : 2021-03-02 23:21 GMT+08:00