Three Legislators Detained in Sogo Bribery Case|SOGO案集體收賄 破天荒3立委遭羈押
As the legislator bribery storm intensifies, the Taipei District Court has ordered seven of the eight defendants be detained and held incommunicado after a marathon 53-hour session. The scandal is "unprecedented" in Taiwan's legal and political history as three incumbent lawmakers have been detained, including Su Chen-ching of the Democratic Progressive Party, and Chen Chao-ming and Liao Kuo-tung of the Kuomintang.
A handcuffed Su Chen-ching gets into the police car that will transport him to Taipei Detention Center.
Did you take bribes?
He is followed by fellow lawmaker Liao Kuo-tung, former Pacific Distribution Chair Lee Heng-lung, and another lawmaker, Chen Chao-ming. None spoke to the media. Following a marathon 53-hour session, the Taipei District Court decided to detain all of the defendants incommunicado with the exception of former New Power Party Chair Hsu Yung-ming, who was released on NT$800,000 bail.
The judge says if they are released, the changes of them colluding would be extremely high. Therefore, he feels it is better to detain them to protect the investigation.
The court said Su, Liao and Chen were detained because they took the most bribes and also lied in their testimonies. In addition, messaging software makes secret communication and collusion very easy.
Although Hsu had conversations with the other party about how much he wanted to get paid, prosecutors are unsure how much he actually received.
I can't discuss the details of the case. However, I absolutely did not do anything wrong.
Many past and present lawmakers are believed to have been paid off by Lee to facilitate the "Sogo Clause" in revisions to the Company Act and put pressure on the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Prosecutors believe Lee started bribing lawmakers in 2013 using Kuo and others as intermediaries. Su is alleged to have taken over NT$20 million, followed by Liao with NT$8 million and Chen and Hsu with around NT$2 million. Total bribes paid are estimated at NT$37.5 million.
All of the legislators deny taking bribes.
I find it regrettable to have received this news. We will countersue at the right legal time in accordance with the law.
Will you countersue?
Former lawmaker Chen Tang-shan was released on NT$500,000 bail and lawmaker Chao Cheng-yu on NT$1 million bail. Three additional current lawmakers have been detained and more could be as prosecutors continue investigating.
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