Sat, Sep 12, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Chen Shui-bian gets life

GRAFT TRIAL The Taipei District Court ruled the former president and his wife ‘used his power to create wealth while putting aside integrity and loyalty to the country’

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office said prosecutors would decide whether to appeal after they receive a copy of the ruling.

Two former presidential aides, former deputy secretary-general Ma Yung-cheng (馬永成) and former Presidential Office director Lin Teh-hsun (林德訓), were found guilty of helping the former first family embezzle money from public funds and were sentenced to 20 and 16 years respectively and had their civil rights annulled for 10 and eight years respectively.

The court said the former first family’s bookkeeper Chen Chen-hui (陳鎮慧) escaped a prison sentence because she showed remorse for her crimes and provided key evidence to prosecutors and judges, including computer records she kept detailing the former first family’s official and personal expenses.

The former president and his wife were found guilty of receiving kickbacks from a development company to pave the way for the construction of the Hsinchu Science Park by purchasing a plot of land in Taoyuan County from the company at a price prosecutors argued was unreasonably high.

Former Hsinchu Science Park head James Lee (李界木) and Wu’s friend Tsai Ming-che (蔡銘哲) were found guilty of pocketing part of the money and transferring kickbacks to accounts held by family members of Chen Shui-bian and Wu.

Lee was sentenced to six years in prison and had his civil rights annulled for three years. Tsai Ming-che was sentenced to two years in prison and five years probation. His brother Tsai Ming-chieh (蔡銘杰) was also found guilty of taking kickbacks and received a two-year prison sentence and five years probation.

The ruling found the former first family guilty of collecting bribes from contractor Kuo Chuan-ching (郭銓慶) between 2002 and 2003 to help him win a tender to build the Nangang Exhibition Hall. Kuo was sentenced to six months in jail, of which three months have been suspended.

Prosecutors argued that Kuo won the contract by bribing members of a panel organized by the Ministry of the Interior to assess the bidding after then-interior minister Yu Cheng-hsien (余政憲) revealed the list of panel members to Kuo at Wu’s request.

Tsai Ming-chieh and Kuo early last month pleaded guilty to helping Wu obtain US$2.73 million in bribes in connection with a land deal in Longtan (龍潭), Taoyuan County.

Yu has also been indicted for allegedly leaking secrets, but the court has not yet passed a verdict in his case because he is not one of the co-defendants in the Chen Shui-bian case.

BRIBES

The District Court also found Chen Shui-bian and his wife guilty of some of the charges prosecutors added against them on May 5. These include taking NT$10 million in bribes from former Taipei Financial Center Corp (台北金融大樓公司) chairwoman Diana Chen (陳敏薰) and NT$300 million in political donations from former Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) vice chairman Jeffrey Koo Jr (辜仲諒).

Members of the former first lady’s family and some of her friends also received prison sentences for helping her launder money.

Wu’s brother Wu Ching-mao (吳景茂) and his wife, Chen Chun-ying (陳俊英), who pleaded guilty to helping the former first lady launder money through overseas accounts, were each sentenced to two years in prison, five years’ probation and a fine of NT$3 million.

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