Sat, Jul 30, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Chen gets two months in prison in allowance case

By Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporter

The Taipei District Court yesterday sentenced former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to two months in prison for instructing his former aides to lie about the reimbursement processes for the presidential “state affairs fund.”

In the ruling, presiding judge Lee Ying-hao (李英豪) said Chen, who was present, could appeal the ruling to the Taiwan High Court.

In July 2006, the ruling said, Chen called a meeting at the Presidential Office with former Presidential Office deputy -secretary-general Ma Yung-cheng (馬永成) and former Presidential Office director Lin Teh-hsun (林德訓) to instruct them to lie about inappropriate receipts that were reimbursements by the fund.

Chen’s wife, Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), was also present at the meeting, the ruling said.

Although Ma and Lin allegedly complied with the request, prosecutors did not charge Ma because false testimony was not given when he was a defendant.

Lin was given a final verdict of two months in jail, which he has already served.

Highlighting the number of ongoing criminal cases against Chen, several of his top aides had to be reminded about the latest developments in the forgery case.

“I haven’t been informed of the latest aspects of the case,” said Taipei City Councilor Chiang Chih-ming (江志銘), a former secretary at Chen’s office. “I will ask the former president for his views next time I see him.”

Reached by the Taipei Times for comment, lawyer Cheng Wen-lung (鄭文龍) said he was likely to appeal.

In related news, the Taipei District Court found former minister of education Tu Cheng-sheng (杜正勝) not guilty of using fraudulent receipts from his special allowance fund.

The court also ruled that similar charges against former -minister of justice Morley Shih (施茂林), former minister of the interior Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋), former minister of examinations Lin Chia-cheng (林嘉誠) and former minister of the civil service Chu Wu-hsien (朱武獻) should be dropped. This is because the legislature has approved a law under which officials cannot be prosecuted on charges relating to controversial reimbursements from special allowance funds that took place before Dec. 31, 2006, the court said.

The ruling said Tu was not guilty because he did not know his two aides were collecting fraudulent receipts on his behalf.

However, two of Tu’s aides were found guilty of forgery.

The previous day, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office announced it had completed all investigations into the reimbursement of public officials’ special funds and that it had not issued any indictments.

The bureau has closed its investigations into 111 officials, it said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY VINCENT Y. CHAO

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