The Taipei District Court yesterday sentenced former independent lawmaker Lo Fu-chu (
Prosecutors' had recommended a 30-year sentence for Lo, but Presiding Judge Liao Wen-yu (
"The judges decided Lo's sentence should be lower because prosecutors did not provide sufficient and relevant evidence to prove that it is necessary to imprison Lo for 30 years," said Huang Jiunn-ming (
The Lo family's longtime financial manager, Lin Chin-yuan (林錦源), was sentenced to eight years and six months in prison and a fine of NT$10 million on the same charges.
Liao also suspended a travel ban on both Lo and Lin because "they have cooperated with the court throughout the process."
"We have held 72 hearings since last year. Both Lin and Lo attended every single hearing and fully cooperated with us. So we decided to lift the ban on them," Liao said.
Lo and Lin were absent for yesterday's verdict.
Both prosecutors and defense counsels said they would appeal to the Taiwan High Court.
"It is very obvious whether Lo did what he was accused of," said Chuang Hsiu-ming (
In addition to Chuang, who retired as a Taipei District Court judge, Lo also employed well-known lawyers Tu Ying-ta (
"This is unjust since Lo was only convicted of six crimes," said Prosecutor Liu Cheng-wu (
According to the verdict, Lo illegally embezzled and pocketed more than NT$1.3 billion by taking advantage of his position as a lawmaker and working with local gangsters to blackmail businessmen in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong.
Prosecutors had also accused Lo of falsely reporting his taxes.