Taiwan prosecutor indicted for covering up gambling

TAIPEI (AFP) - A Taiwanese prosecutor was indicted on Friday on corruption charges for allegedly taking bribes to cover up gambling businesses, in the latest scandal to hit the island's judiciary.

Chen Yu-chen, a mid-level staff member of the High Prosecutors' Office, was charged with accepting nearly NT$24 million (S$1.03 million) from a gambling business operator over a period of six years, the Special Investigation Division said.

She allegedly took money from the businessman in return for services including pressuring other prosecutors to stop investigating him, according to the division, which probes high-level graft.

"We demand the most severe punishment for Chen as she has gravely damaged the reputation of prosecutors and dealt a deep blow to the public confidence in the judiciary," the SID statement said.

Under Taiwanese law, corruption charges carry the maximum sentence of life in prison.

Taiwan has been rocked by a string of high-profile corruption cases involving top officials in recent years, including ex-president Chen Shui-bian who is currently serving a 20-year jail term on multiple graft convictions.

The government in 2010 set up a new watchdog to fight corruption in the wake of a bribery scandal implicating three senior judges and a prosecutor that saw then judicial chief quit amid a public outcry.

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