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Former Taiwan science park head detained over corruption worries

James J. Lee was taken into custody after being questioned with his wife for 5 hours

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In the probe of alleged money laundering case, prosecutors summoned former Hsinchu Science Park Administration Director-General Lee Chie-mu yesterday ...

In the probe of alleged money laundering case, prosecutors summoned former Hsinchu Science Park Administration Director-General Lee Chie-mu yesterday ...

The former chief of Hsinchu Science Park, James J. Lee, was taken into custody by prosecutors yesterday over his possible links to the former first family's alleged money-laundering activities.
The Taipei District Court granted the request from prosecutors at the Special Investigation Division under the Supreme Prosecutors Office on the grounds that he had very likely engaged in corruption, which is a felony, and might tamper with evidence unless brought into custody.
The prosecutors requested Lee's detention after questioning him and his wife Feng Chao-ching for five hours Tuesday.
The two were interrogated after Special Investigation Division investigators conducted simultaneous searches of four sites, including Lee's residences in Taipei and Yilan City.
The case stemmed from the prosecutors' investigation into alleged money-laundering by the family members of former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
An anonymous official familiar with the case said that investigators found that a development company controlled by Jeffrey Koo, founder of the ChinaTrust Group, wired large sums of funds to the overseas bank accounts opened by two proxies of the first family after its land in Longtan, Taoyuan County, was purchased by the Hsinchu Science Park in February, 2004.
The official said the investigators suspected that the funds, which ended up in the first family's overseas bank accounts, were kickbacks offered by Koo's firm for the land deal, which was sealed at what investigators claimed to be unreasonably high prices during Lee's term as chief of Hsinchu Science Park.
Prosecutors in charge of the case refused to divulge whether Lee was detained because of his links to the ex-first family's alleged financial manipulations, saying only that he was suspected of steering undue profit toward Koo's firm.
A pro-independence activist, Lee went into exile in the United States when Taiwan was ruled by the Kuomintang, and returned to Taiwan to serve as the vice environment minister when the Democratic Progressive Party took power in 2000.
He was named as chief of the Hsinchu Science Park in October, 2001, and retired from that post after the KMT administration assumed office in May this year.


Updated : 2021-06-14 11:58 GMT+08:00