Tue, Aug 01, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Court stands by Chao's release

SECOND REVIEW The district court stuck with its earlier decision after the Taiwan High Court again asked it to mull its release of the president's son-in-law

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Sanlih Entertainment Television employee Chu Wen-cheng, right, in blue shirt, struggles to shield a Sanlih cameraman yesterday as police attempt to fend off the press at the Taipei District Court, following the president's son-in-law Chao Chien-ming's exit from the court by taxi.

PHOTOS: CHANG CHIA-MING AND CHU PEI-HSIUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

The Taipei District Court yesterday again stood by its decision to release the president's son-in-law Chao Chien-ming (趙建銘) on bail after the Taiwan High Court asked it for a second time to review its decision.

The Taipei District Court's judges yesterday decided to maintain the NT$17 million bail (US$518,900) for Chao from its last ruling.

"The judges considered, according to the principle of proportionality in law, that this amount of bail fits the crimes that Chao was charged with," Taipei District Court spokesman Liu Shou-sung (劉壽嵩) told the press yesterday after the hearing.

Chao, along with former Taiwan Development Corp (TDC) chairman Su Teh-jien (蘇德建) and businessman Yu Shih-yi (游世一), was indicted and released on bail on July 10. But after prosecutors appealed the ruling to release the three, the high court on July 17 asked the Taipei District Court to review its decision.

The Taipei District Court at a July 20 hearing decided to allow Chao to remain free, but raised his bail from NT$10 million to NT$17 million.

Prosecutors, still dissatisfied with the result, immediately appealed the case to the high court for the second time, and the high court last Friday once again asked the Taipei District Court to review Chao's bail amount.

The high court's ruling in the case said "the Taipei District Court, in its ruling, was unable to explain why Chao was likely to flee the country to avoid trial, after it set a high bail for him and restricted him from leaving the country."

Prosecutors have said that they were concerned that Chao might flee the country, since he booked a flight to Japan in June after the scandal broke and a few suspects have been summoned for questioning.

The judges yesterday also maintained Yu's bail at NT$10 million and Su's at NT$5 million.

Chao was indicted -- along with his father, Chao Yu-chu (趙玉柱), and three others -- for violating the Securities Transaction Law (證券交易法).

The scandal dates back to last summer, when Su and Chang Hwa Commercial Bank officials dined on two occasions with Chao Chien-ming and Yu at a Japanese restaurant in Taipei.

Prosecutors believe they discussed confidential information about TDC, which Chao's relatives later used to profit from trading TDC shares.

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