Five legislators indicted in Taiwan Sogo bribery case

Legislators involved in Sogo power struggle indicted for corruption

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Legislators involved in SOGO case are shown clockwise: Su Chen-ching (top left), Liao Kuo-tung, Hsu Yung-ming, Chao Cheng-yu, and Chen ...

Legislators involved in SOGO case are shown clockwise: Su Chen-ching (top left), Liao Kuo-tung, Hsu Yung-ming, Chao Cheng-yu, and Chen ... (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Four incumbents and one former lawmaker have been indicted for taking bribes from businessman Lee Heng-lung (李恆隆) to help him regain control of the Sogo department stores in a power struggle.

The five politicians were Kuomintang (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟); Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Su Chen-ching (蘇震清); independent Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇); and former New Power Party (NPP) Chairman Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明).

Seven other individuals, including the legislators' office managers Yu Hsueh-yang (余學洋), Ting Fu-hua (丁復華), Liang Wen-i (梁文一), and Lin Chia-chi (林家騏); middleman Kuo Ke-ming (郭克銘); Trend Survey and Research Co general manager Wu Shih-chang (吳世昌); and former Pacific Distribution Chairman Lee Heng-lung, were also indicted for violating the Anti-Corruption Act. Meanwhile, former DPP legislator Mark Chen (陳唐山), who was accused of bribery, will not be prosecuted due to a lack of evidence, according to CNA.

On July 31, prosecutors raided 65 homes and offices of individuals in connection with the Sogo bribery allegations and found NT$9.2 million (US$313,000) in cash. The legislators named in the allegations were accused of using their influence to pressure the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) to help Lee regain control of the department store chain.

The Sogo power struggle has lasted for almost two decades, with Lee trying to wrest the chain's ownership from the Far Eastern Group, which now owns the department stores. The prosecutors believe Lee's illegal partnership with legislators would have given him the upper hand in the ownership battle, reported Liberty Times.