|Taipei judge and girlfriend in the dock over graft and unexplained wealth
Taiwan prosecutors indicted a judge on charges of graft and sought to confiscate assets valued more than US$1.5 million.
Hu Chin-pin, a senior judge at the central Taichung High Court, was charged with accepting bribes, according to a statement by the special prosecutors office following a three-year investigation.
Five other people were also charged with bribery, money laundering and fraud allegations, the office said. Among them was Hu's girlfriend surnamed Huang, according to the statement, AFP reports.
The prosecutors found that Hu’s assets surged by T$46.47 million since 2010. These were, largely stashed in the bank accounts of his family members.
The amount of the unidentified income was “the largest ever found among judicial officials,’’ the statement said.
“What Hu did has marred the image of government officials and spoiled judicial morals. Even worse, he has shown no remorse since the outbreak of the scandal...We request the courts to levy the heaviest possible punishment on him,'' it said.
While probing the scandal, the prosecutors concluded that Hu must have taken more bribes during his life-long judicial career to support his three families that include wife, two girlfriends and six children, according to the statement.
“Given his income, he could not have supported the huge expenses of the three families,'' prosecutor Lin Feng-wen told reporters.
“But we don't have sufficient evidence to confiscate the rest of his huge assets with unidentified source.''
Prosecutors said Hu's sprawling assets, ranging from apartments in Taipei to gold, stocks and bonds, are worth at least T$300 million.
Under Taiwanese law, corruption charges carry the maximum sentence of life in prison.