The Taipei District Court yesterday acquitted former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) in a case in which he was charged with embezzling state funds.
Lee’s aide, Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英), was sentenced to two years, eight months on charges of embezzlement of public property and deprived of his civil rights for three years, the ruling said.
The Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office on June 30, 2011, indicted Lee and Liu, accusing them of siphoning off US$7.8 million in secret diplomatic funds to set up the Taiwan Research Institute.
The district court said there was no evidence that showed Lee knew where the diplomatic funds went and that he was involved in the matter.
It added that Liu was in charge of embezzling the funds to establish the Taiwan Research Institute, but since none of the funds went to Liu and the institute had returned the money to the government, the court handed Liu a lenient sentence.
Liu could appeal the ruling with the Taiwan High Court, it added.
Lee’s lawyer, Wellington Koo (顧立雄), said that Lee’s indictment had been unreasonable.
The evidence presented in Lee’s indictment was identical to that in the case against former National Security Bureau chief accountant Hsu Ping-chiang (徐炳強). Hsu was found not guilty, so there was no reason to indict Lee for the same offense, Koo added.
Koo said the trial had been “torture” for 90-year-old Lee, adding he hoped the SID would not waste legal resources by appealing the case to the high court.
The SID said it would decide whether to appeal the case after studying the ruling.
The trial was held behind closed doors because the proceedings contained discussions of sensitive national security issues. The ruling document is also classified.
‘IRRATIONAL ACTS’: The defense ministry condemned the drills, during which China tested successors to missiles deployed during the Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1995 and 1996 China yesterday fired several Dongfeng ballistic missiles as it began four days of unprecedented military drills off Taiwan proper following US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei the previous day. On Tuesday, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) said Beijing would “take all necessary measures” in retaliation should Pelosi visit Taiwan during her Asia tour. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from 1:56pm to 4pm fired 11 Dongfeng missiles into waters north, east and south of Taiwan proper, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said. Taiwanese armed forces, using “forward warning and surveillance mechanisms,” monitored the missile tests
ANNEXATION PLANS: Remarks by the Chinese ambassador to France showed that Beijing seeks to normalize genocide, re-education and gulags, a US official said European and US officials condemned comments from Chinese Ambassador to France Lu Shaye (盧沙野), after he on Wednesday said that Taiwanese would be “re-educated” after any annexation by China. In an interview on French television, Lu accused the Democratic Progressive Party of “extremist” propaganda and turning Taiwanese against “reunification” with China. “We will re-educate. I’m sure that the Taiwanese population will again become favorable of the reunification and will become patriots again,” Lu told BFM TV. The term “re-education” has been used to describe Chinese authorities’ treatment of Uighurs and other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang. European Parliament Subcommittee on Security and Defense Chairwoman
SOLIDARITY: A group of European lawmakers condemned China’s aggressive moves, while the foreign minister of Lithuania said Taiwan ‘cannot become a second Ukraine’ A German parliamentary delegation would visit Taiwan in the first week of October, German lawmaker Holger Becker on Monday told visiting Democratic Progressive Party legislators Fan Yun (范雲) and Lin I-chin (林宜瑾) at the Bundestag in Berlin. Asked by Fan whether he is worried about possible reprisals from Beijing, such as banning him and his family from entering China, Becker said he is more interested in visiting Taiwan, as “now is the time for democracies to stand together.” Fan and Lin also met with German officials to exchange views on digital education and governance. Investing in digital infrastructure and protecting equal rights to
‘SIMULATED ATTACKS’: Ten warships each from China and Taiwan were maneuvering at close quarters in the Taiwan Strait, with some Chinese vessels crossing the median line Taiwan yesterday reiterated that it would not succumb to pressure from Beijing after China carried out its most provocative military drills in decades in retaliation for US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan last week. “We will never bow to pressure. We uphold freedom and democracy, and believe Taiwanese disapprove [of] China’s bullying actions with force and saber rattling at our door,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday. China had “arrogantly” disrupted regional peace and stability, he said, calling on Beijing to not flex its military muscles. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has also called on the international community to “support