Taiwanese prosecutors yesterday indicted 49 people, including 15 former and current prison guards on bribery charges, in the island's worst prison scandal.
Prosecutors sought jail terms of between 12 and 26 years for the guards at Tucheng detention center for blackmailing detainees and taking bribes from them in return for favors, according to the indictment.
The guards accepted bribes of up to NT$10,000 (US$3,125) to smuggle prohibited items for detainees, such as cigarettes, alcohol, pornography, and MP3 players, the indictment said.
At least four guards were also charged with receiving sex services paid for by detainees. The other people indicted included detainees and their relatives and friends.
The case came to light in April after prosecutors raided the detention center outside Taipei, where former president Chen Shui-bian has been held since December.
Prosecutors said the guards were not suspected of rendering favors for Chen, who was at court for his corruption trial during the search.
President Ma Ying-jeou, who has pledged to clean up corruption, has demanded severe punishment for the violators.
Taiwan has been embroiled in a string of graft scandals implicating Chen, his family, and former top government and military officials.