Former Taiwanese Vice Premier Under Probe, Ruling Party Says

(Bloomberg) -- Taiwan’s ruling party said former Vice Premier Cheng Wen-tsan is under probe by prosecutors, as local media reported the senior politician is being investigated for alleged corruption.

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Democratic Progressive Party spokesman Wu Cheng confirmed the probe in a statement on Saturday, without elaborating on the charges.

Local prosecutors suspected Cheng of accepting bribery, CNA and other media said. Cheng’s lawyer said the politician has not broken any law and will cooperate with all investigations as he wants to prove his innocence.

After prosecutors asked a district court to detain Cheng, the court on Saturday set a bail of NT$5 million ($153,980) and banned him from leaving the island, a court official told Bloomberg News, confirming details first reported by CNA and others. Local cable news stations showed Cheng leave the court on Saturday afternoon after posting bail, without speaking to reporters.

Cheng became vice premier in January 2023 under former President Tsai Ing-wen. He ended his term as Tsai handed over her reign to incumbent President Lai Ching-te earlier this year after the DPP won the presidential election again.

He is currently the head of the semi-official Straits Exchange Foundation, which offers administrative support for civil exchanges between Taiwan and China. Cheng also served as the mayor of the northern Taiwanese city of Taoyuan from late 2014 to 2022.

A representative at the Taoyuan district prosecutors office said she does not have any information to offer. SEF spokeswoman Elsie Tsai said the organization respects the judicial procedure.

--With assistance from Yian Lee and Miaojung Lin.

(Updates with details of court decision on bail in the fourth paragraph.)

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