Sat, Oct 08, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Hsu heads to prison for bribery as his options run out

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH AGENCIES

The Democratic Progressive Party's legislator for Kaohsiung County Hsu Chih-ming, yesterday holds a press conference before heading to jail.

PHOTO: FANG CHIH-HSIAN, TAIPEI TIMES

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Kaohsiung Legislator Hsu Chih-ming (徐志明) yesterday said farewell to his political career and his supporters, and began his 12-year sentence in prison.

Hsu was convicted by the Supreme Court Thursday for accepting illegal kickbacks of NT$3.95 million (US$120,000) from swimming pool builders when he was the head of Kaohsiung County's Daliao (大寮) Township in 1994.

The Taiwan High Court's Kaohsiung Branch sentenced him to 12 years in jail on May 2, 2003. Hsu appealed to the Supreme Court, but his appeal was eventually declined on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court decided to maintain his 12-year sentence, saying that he also has to return the NT$3.95 million in kickbacks.

At a press conference which he held at his house in Daliao yesterday morning, Hsu said he would file a request for extraordinary appeal.

"I hereby request judges to name witnesses and sufficient evidence, such as the person who paid me the kickbacks or any witness of the entire process. If not, how can they [judges] simply send me to jail like this?" Hsu asked.

When Hsu's appeal was declined, Kaohsiung Chief Prosecutor Hsiao Po-wen (蕭博文) immediately led a team of police officers to Hsu's residence and office in Daliao on Thursday night.

In addition to informing Hsu of when he had to report to jail, Hsiao and several police officers decided to remain and escort Hsu to Kaohsiung Prison after his press conference yesterday morning.

Since Hsu's conviction was upheld, his position at the legislature was also immediately revoked.

The DPP yesterday also decided to suspend his membership. Also, by law, Hsu will not be able to accept any government positions or run in any elections in the future, because he has been convicted in a bribery case.

"This verdict is not persuasive," Hsu said. "I dare to say that I have never accepted any bribes during my 20 years of service. This is not difficult to be investigated."

"I respect justice. But I will not accept it if I've been framed," he added.

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