Mon, Aug 13, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Court increases security to thwart curious hackers

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei District Court said yesterday it had stepped up network security amid rumors that hackers were attempting to intercept the verdict in former Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) corruption trial.

Court spokesman Liu Shou-sung (劉壽嵩) said that information pertaining to Ma's verdict, which will be handed down at 10:30am tomorrow, was stored on the computers of the three judges hearing the case.

Although Ma, the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) presidential candidate, has said he will not go to the court to hear the verdict, his supporters are expected to attend en masse.

Ma was indicted on Feb. 13 on corruption charges for allegedly embezzling NT$11 million (US$333,000) from his special mayoral allowance.

Ma said in his defense he believed government officials' special allowances should be treated as income and not as public funds.

Prosecutors said that between December 1998 and July last year, Ma wired half of his monthly special allowance -- NT$170,000 -- into a personal account. In this way, they said, Ma had accumulated NT$11,176,227 in accounts belonging to himself and his wife.

The verdict could have an impact on Ma's presidential bid, as well as on the investigations into the handling of similar funds by several Democratic Progressive Party politicians, including presidential rival Frank Hsieh (謝長廷).

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