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Report says Hsieh received illegal donations

Report says Hsieh received illegal donations

A weekly magazine yesterday published a document from a Kaohsiung prosecutor that claimed Democratic Progressive Party hopeful Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) received illegal political donations during his term as Kaohsiung mayor, an accusation Hsieh later denied.
Next Magazine published an official document submitted by Kaohsiung Prosecutor Lo Chien-hsun to the Ministry of Justice's Investigation Bureau that suspected Hsieh of graft and urged the bureau to investigate further. The magazine added that if the charge led to an indictment, which it described as likely, it could hurt Hsieh's presidential bid.
'Investigation necessary'
The Kaohsiung branch of the Taiwan High Prosecutors' Office, where Lo works, clarified, however, that the content of the official document did not imply that Hsieh was involved in corruption but that an investigation was necessary.
"Lo's doubts about Hsieh's probity are based on the prosecutor's free evaluation of related evidence collected by him. The branch cannot publicly comment on the case as it is still under investigation," said branch spokesman Hung San.
Hsieh rejected the insinuations.
"I am confident in my innocence and there are many errors in the prosecutors' accusations against me," he said. "The prosecutor even refused to give me a chance to defend my innocence before transferring my case to the Investigation Bureau."
Hsieh's primary campaign spokesman, Chou Tien-lin, said it was ridiculous for the prosecutor to leak the document rather than indict Hsieh if he had collected enough evidence to prove Hsieh's guilt as the magazine alleged.
Hsieh's campaign headquarters also published a newspaper advertisement yesterday urging potential voters in this Sunday's DPP presidential primary not to be misled by the corruption allegations.
The ad was full of irony, as it implored voters not to allow a repeat of the defeat of Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) in the Pingtung County magistrate election in 1993 when he was the victim of groundless corruption charges made by his opponent, the Kuomintang's Wu Tse-yuan (伍澤元).
Su is Hsieh's main rival for the DPP nomination.
Pro-Hsieh DPP lawmaker Hsu Kuo-yung hinted Su's Cabinet may have had a hand in leaking the document.
"How could such an official document, which only administrative officials could read, be leaked? Who would it benefit?"
Su, however, later said, "I believe in Hsieh's innocence."
Kaohsiung MRT
According to the weekly, the prosecutor discovered the alleged graft when probing kickbacks to politicians in the construction of the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit system while Hsieh was mayor.
Hsieh reportedly received illegal political contributions from Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corporation board member Yeh Chih-chung and the chairman of one of the MRT construction project bid winners, Chen Wu-tsung, through the chairman of a Kaohsiung-based association, Hsu Cheng-chao.


Updated : 2021-04-14 05:02 GMT+08:00