Commenting on the verdict, the former president’s son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), currently running for election to the Greater Kaohsiung council as an independent, called on the public to “show their anger” by voting against President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration in the upcoming special municipality elections.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Office, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) all said that they respected the court’s decision.
Declining to comment on whether the ruling would impact the upcoming elections, DPP spokesman Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) said that “both parties, regardless of color, have already learned to calmly and reasonably deal with Chen Shui-bian’s legal troubles.”
Yesterday’s ruling came a week after the Taipei District Court acquitted Chen Shui-bian on a separate case of taking NT$600 million for helping facilitate bank mergers. The Taipei District Court also cleared him of embezzling diplomatic funds in June. Prosecutors have said they will appeal both rulings.
Three other cases, including charges related to another land deal, money laundering and embezzling secret diplomatic funds, for which the Taiwan High Court originally ruled the former president should serve a 20-year sentence, were returned to the lower court by the Supreme Court for another ruling yesterday.