Lao fam­ily apol­o­gizes over Apache scan­dal

Fa­ther of sus­pect hopes son will do­nate en­tire pen­sion to char­ity

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY JOSEPH YEH

Fam­ily mem­bers of Lt. Col. Lao Nai-cheng ( ), who was caught at the cen­ter of the on­go­ing Apache scan­dal, yes­ter­day apol­o­gized to the public over Lao’s al­leged role in al­low­ing civil­ians to take pho­to­graphs of the AH-64E Apache he­li­copter with­out un­der­go­ing proper pro­ce­dures.

With tears in their eyes, Lao Tse-kang ( ) and Lao Nai-hui ( ), fa­ther and the el­der sis­ter of Lao, re­spec­tively, yes­ter­day bowed in front of cam­eras as they apol­o­gized on Lao’s be­half dur­ing a press con­fer­ence in Taipei.

A for­mer deputy chief of staff to the R.O.C. Army, Lao Tse-kang apol­o­gized to the public over his son’s be­hav­ior, which he said has “se­ri­ously dam­aged the im­age of the R.O.C. Armed Forces and led to many se­nior mil­i­tary of­fi­cials be­ing pun­ished.”

“I felt deep re­morse for let­ting down my coun­try, the R.O.C. Armed Forces and all mil­i­tary per­son­nel (be­cause of the in­ci­dent)” Lao Tse-kang said.

He noted that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­gard­ing his son’s al­leged in­volve­ment in the case is still on­go­ing and he has full re­spect for the probe re­sults no mat­ter what they might be.

Lao Tse-kang said he hopes that his son can re­pent for his mis­take and con­tinue to de­vote him­self to his spe­cialty in the mil­i­tary.

If the mil­i­tary ul­ti­mately de­cided to dis­charge him from his ser­vice, Lao Tse-kang said he hopes the younger Lao will do­nate his en­tire re­tire­ment pen­sion to char­ity if he can still re­ceive his pen­sion by then.

The press con­fer­ence was held in the wake of public anger over the scan­dal when Lao was found to have al­legedly al­lowed lo­cal TV per­son­al­ity Janet Lee ( ) and other civil­ians ac­cess to the AH64E Apache late last month, even al­low­ing some to wear a NT$2 mil­lion tac­ti­cal hel­met.

The case came to light af­ter Lee posted pho­tos of the tour on her Face­book page, drawing me­dia crit­i­cism of loose se­cu­rity in Tai­wan’s mil­i­tary.

It was also found that Lao had not re­turned an Apache flight hel­met af­ter a train­ing mission last Oc­to­ber but had worn it as part of a Hal­loween cos­tume at a party at his home.

Lao, the deputy head of a he­li­copter squadron in Taoyuan un­der the Army Avi­a­tion Spe­cial Forces Com­mand, has since been re­moved from his post and is cur­rently un­der mil­i­tary and pros­e­cu­tors in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

‘My brother a de­cent per­son’

Com­ment­ing on the hel­met in­ci­dent, Lao’s el­der sis­ter Lao Nai­hui ( ) yes­ter­day stressed that the party was in fact a “fam­ily re­u­nion” and held as a Hal­loween party for chil­dren of the fam­ily, say­ing that Lao was not at­tend­ing a party at a night club.

She also noted that her younger brother is a de­cent per­son. She said public scru­tiny has put Lao’s whole fam­ily in the spot­light. She will let the judges de­ter­mine whether her brother should take full re­spon­si­bil­ity for the in­ci­dent.

But she also hopes that the legal sys­tem will ul­ti­mately re­store Lao’s in­tegrity if it later proves his in­no­cence.

Mean­while, Lao Tse- kang yes­ter­day con­firmed that he had pre­vi­ously been do­ing busi­ness in China fol­low­ing re­tire­ment.

But he noted that he had left the job three years ago and he did not break a travel ban im­posed on re­tired mil­i­tary per­son­nel.

There is cur­rently a ban on travel to China for re­tired mil­i­tary per­son­nel who had ac­cess to con­fi­den­tial mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence dur­ing their ser­vice.

The ex­tent of travel re­stric­tions is based on the per­son’s rank and on the level of sen­si­tiv­ity of in­for­ma­tion the per­son was ex­posed to.

CNA

Fa­ther Lao Tse-kang ( ), left, and el­der sis­ter Lao Nai-hui ( ), right, of Lt. Col. Lao Nai-cheng ( ), bow in front of cam­eras as they apol­o­gize on Lao’s be­half dur­ing a press con­fer­ence in Taipei over the on­go­ing Apache scan­dal.

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