Fri, Feb 07, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Prosecutors wait for court verdict to summon Chou

CORRUPTION CASE The Supreme Court announced Chou Po-lun's six-year jail term on Jan. 29 but prosecutors can't put him behind bars until they receive the decision

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office said yesterday that it has not yet received the final verdict in former DPP lawmaker Chou Po-lun's (周伯倫) corruption case but prosecutors will summon Chou to begin his six-year jail term once the verdict is delivered.

"Usually it takes seven to 10 days for the delivery process. The final verdict was made public by the Supreme Court on Jan. 29. We are expecting to receive it sometime next week, due to delays stemming from the Lunar New Year holidays," Taipei District Prosecutors' Office spokesman Chen Hung-ta (陳宏達) said.

"We will summon him to begin his sentence as soon as we receive the verdict from the court. If he does not show up, we will declare him wanted and go after him if he tries to escape," he said.

Once a the verdict is received, the guilty party is summoned to report to district prosecutors. Prosecutors then send the individual to the assigned prison to begin serving his sentence.

DPP legislative leader Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), a close friend of Chou, said yesterday that Chou will face his sentence as a brave man.

"He will report to prosecutors when he receives the verdict and the summons. But he told me that he was worried about his family and his assistants. These assistants will lose their jobs once Chou begins his sentence," Ker said. "Chou told me that he will hold a press conference ... before he goes to jail."

Chou resigned as a lawmaker on Jan. 30. The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office banned him from leaving the country on that same day.

Chou was involved in the Ronghsing Park development affair, which surfaced in 1988 when then-Taipei City councilor Chen Sheng-hung (陳勝宏) revealed that several colleagues, including Chou, had taken bribes from Chiaofu Construction Corp in exchange for their support of the development plan.

Chou, 47, who has served as a legislator representing Taipei County since 1993, was found guilty of taking NT$16 million from the company.

The final verdict also suspends Chou's civil liberties for four years, which will not go into effect until after he serves his jail term. The move strips Chou of the right to vote and to run for office.

Chen Chun-yuan (陳俊源), another former Taipei City councilor, was sentenced to five years in jail in addition to having his civil rights revoked for three years and four months.

Several other councilors and city government officials took part in the influence-peddling scheme that sought unsuccessfully to turn part of the park near the Sungshan Airport into a commercial-residential zone.

Most of those found guilty have almost finished their terms.

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