The Taipei District Court yesterday sentenced former Bureau of Investigation director-general Yeh Sheng-mao (葉盛茂) to 10 years in prison for withholding information related to the former first family’s alleged money laundering activities and a separate charge of leaking confidential information.
In addition to a jail sentence, Yeh will be deprived of his civil rights for five years.
The court found Yeh guilty of corruption, concealing a government file and leaking confidential information, for which he received an eight-and-a-half year jail term.
In the second case, Yeh was convicted of leaking confidential information, for which he was sentenced to two-and-a-half years.
The two sentences were combined into a jail term of 10 years. The ruling can be appealed.
The court rejected an appeal for Yeh’s release, Taipei District Court spokesman Huang Chun-min (黃俊明) said, citing the severity of his crimes.
Judge Tseng Cheng-lung (曾正龍), who wrote the verdict, said Yeh’s current detention would expire on Jan. 5. He has 10 days to appeal and apply again for bail.
Tseng said it took three weeks to write the 62-page verdict.
Yeh was sentenced to 10 years because he did not show remorse, Tseng said.
“Up to our last hearing for the case, Yeh was still trying to defend himself by saying that he was merely doing his job as the bureau’s director-general,” Tseng said.
Yeh was indicted on Aug. 28 and detained on Oct. 6 for withholding information about the former first family’s alleged money laundering and leaking information to former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
He was found guilty of leaking information to Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) in a separate case.
Yeh informed Ker in April of prosecutors’ raid plans in a case in which Ker was suspected of accepting kickbacks to lobby on behalf of RSEA Engineering Corp after a marble mine factory it operated in Hualien was accused of violating environmental regulations.
In addition to sentencing Yeh, the judges said they believed the evidence showed that Chen Shui-bian, Chen’s wife Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), their son Chen Chih-chung (陳致中) and his wife Huang Jui-ching (黃睿靚) and former presidential adviser Wu Li-pei (吳澧培) were all involved in money laundering.
The details were to be handed over to the Supreme Prosecutor Office’s Special Investigation Panel (SIP) for further investigation.
In addition, the director of the bureau’s Money Laundering Prevention Center, Chou You-yi (周有義) and agent Tso Chiu-chiang (鄒求強) may have faked official documents, judges said, adding that the case would also be forwarded.
In related news, SIP prosecutors talked to Taipei Financial Center Corp chairwoman Diana Chen (陳敏薰). yesterday. She arrived at the SIP office at 9:40am and left at 1:40pm.
Diana Chen declined to disclose the contents of her conversations with prosecutors.
Asked for comment, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chu Fong-chi (朱鳳芝), a member of the Judiciary, Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, called Yeh’s verdict “belated justice.”
Chu said Yeh’s “blind loyalty” to the former president had harmed the nation’s economic growth and international image.
KMT caucus deputy secretary-general Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) said Yeh deserved the punishment.
“If Yeh had reported [information regarding Chen’s case] to the Ministry of Justice, the former president’s [alleged] corruption problem would not have become so serious,” she said.
Additional reporting by Flora Wang and CNA
ONGOING PROBE: A former Military Intelligence Bureau colonel, major general and another colonel, as well as five other people, have been questioned by prosecutors The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered that a retired colonel from the Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) calling himself Taiwan’s “first special agent” be detained and held incommunicado as part of an ongoing investigation into espionage allegations targeting at least three former bureau officials. The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office was seeking to detain former MIB colonel Chang Chao-jan (張超然) over his alleged involvement in introducing retired agents to Chinese national security authorities and passing confidential documents to China. Chang’s actions, if proven, would contravene the National Security Act (國家安全法), which carries a prison term of three to 10 years, and the National Intelligence
The US House of Representatives’ China Task Force, launched by Republicans earlier this year, yesterday proposed the China task force act, a package of 137 pieces of legislation, seven of which involve Taiwan, in the hope of getting it passed before the 117th US Congress convenes on Jan. 3. The act encompasses a wide range of issues, including combatting Beijing’s influence around the globe, establishing the US’ dominance in determining 5G network standards and means for bringing UN members to task for abusing their influence within the UN system. The seven acts involving Taiwan address concerns such as the Taiwan Assurance Act
Chinese health authorities investigating a COVID-19 outbreak have said that they discovered live coronavirus on frozen food packaging, a finding that suggests the virus can survive in cold supply chains. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday said that it had found traces of live COVID-19 on the outer packaging of frozen cod in the eastern city of Qingdao, marking the first time that live coronavirus has been detected on the outside of refrigerated goods. Researchers were investigating the source of a cluster of cases linked to a hospital in Qingdao. Genetic traces had previously been found in samples of
A Chinese soldier apprehended earlier this week by the Indian Army after he strayed across a tense de facto border was on Tuesday night handed back to China, an Indian government source in New Delhi said yesterday. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldier had on Monday been captured in the Demchok area of eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army said in a statement. The Chinese military also released a statement, saying that Corporal Wang Yalong was handed over early yesterday. New Delhi on Monday said that it had detained Wang after he crossed into Indian-controlled territory, while China announced that Wang had gotten