Ex-Keelung coun­cil speaker re­leased on NT$20 mil. bail

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Taipei, April 21 ( CNA) For­mer Keelung Coun­cil Speaker Huang Ching- tai ( ) was re­leased early Tues­day on NT$ 20 mil­lion ( US$ 595,000) bail, just in time to at­tend his fa­ther’s fu­neral later in the day.

Huang had been de­tained since Sept. 5, 2014 as he faced bribery al­le­ga­tions re­lated to public works and land devel­op­ment projects and al­le­ga­tions that he em­bez­zled coun­cil funds for per­sonal use. He was for­mally in­dicted on the charges on Dec. 26, 2014.

De­spite ini­tially in­sist­ing on his in­no­cence, he con­fessed to pock­et­ing NT$ 6.75 mil­lion in coun­cil funds when he last ap­peared in court ear­lier this month.

Huang was re­leased only af­ter rel­a­tives and sup­port­ers scram­bled to gather the bail money overnight, said Huang Ching- nan, the younger brother of the for­mer speaker.

As soon as he was re­leased, Huang went to pay his last re­spects to his fa­ther, who died of mul­ti­ple or­gan fail­ure on April 9 at the age of 84.

Huang, 49, was orig­i­nally the rul­ing Kuom­intang's nom­i­nee in the race for Keelung mayor last year, but his po­lit­i­cal for­tunes took a dra­matic turn in July 2014 when the KMT re­voked the nom­i­na­tion af­ter the bribery al­le­ga­tions sur­faced and his public sup­port rat­ing plunged.

He was sub­se­quently stripped off his party membership for in­sist­ing on run­ning as an in­de­pen­dent.

The elec­tion, held on Nov. 29, was even­tu­ally won by Lin Youchang ( ) , the first Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party politi­cian to win a Keelung may­oral elec­tion since 2001.

Huang fin­ished third in the race with 16.26 per­cent of the vote.

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