Fri, Jul 27, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Supreme Court upholds nine-year sentence for Wu

CORRUPTION:The court said the former first lady influenced a committee’s review of the construction bid for the building of the Nangang Exhibition Hall

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a ruling sentencing former first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) to nine years in prison for her involvement in the Nangang Exhibition Hall corruption case.

Since 2006, the former first family has been embroiled in a series of corruption cases involving the state affairs funds, a land purchase deal in Longtan Township (龍潭), the Nangang Exhibition Hall construction deal and offshore money laundering.

That year, the Ministry of Justice’s Government Ethics Department — the predecessor to the Agency Against Corruption — received a tip alleging that Leader Construction Co (力拓營造), which had won a bid for the construction of Nangang Exhibition Hall, had bribed government officials to secure the deal.

According to the court, Wu, acting through her friend Tsai Ming-cher (蔡明哲), ordered former minister of the interior Yu Cheng-hsien (余政憲) to leak the list of people in the committee overseeing the bid.

Seven people within the nine-person committee overseeing the bid received bribes from the company, with each receiving NT$1.5 million (US$50,000), while Wu received NT$90 million and later wired the funds to a Swiss bank.

However, the Supreme Court reduced the one-year-and-eight-month prison sentence for document forgery in the state affairs fund case to 10 months for both former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Wu, while giving both two years in jail for their involvement in the offshore money-laundering case.

In August last year, the Taiwan High Court sentenced Chen’s son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), to one year and two months in jail and a fine of NT$4.5 million for his involvement in offshore money laundering. It also sentenced his wife, Huang Jui-ching (黃睿靚), to one year in prison and a fine of NT$4 million. Huang’s sentence was suspended for four years.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court overturned all the appeals against Huang and Chen Chih-chung and sent the case for retrial at the Taiwan High Court.

In addition, former Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Ma Yung-cheng’s (馬永成) one-year-and-four-month sentence for his involvement in the state affairs funds case was changed to eight months with a suspended sentence of three years, and former Presidential Office director Lin Teh-hsun (林德訓), complicit in the same case, was given six months.

Former Presidential Office treasurer Chen Chen-hui (陳鎮慧) was also given seven months’ imprisonment, with a two-year suspended sentence.

The Supreme Court also rejected Wu’s and Tsai’s appeals in the offshore money-laundering case involving funds received from Jeffrey Koo Jr (辜仲諒) in the Longtan land purchase case.

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