Sat, Aug 25, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Slanderer's punishment not harsh enough: Hsieh

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said yesterday that the punishment handed down to Taipei City Labor Affairs Department Director Su Ying-kuei (蘇盈貴) after he was found guilty of slander against Hsieh was not severe enough.

The court sentenced Su to 50 days in jail on Thursday, but the sentence could be commuted to 25 days.

Su also has the option of paying a fine instead of being put in prison.

Answering questions from reporters in Kaohsiung County, Hsieh said Su's punishment would not prevent similar cases of slander from happening again.

While Hsieh said he was able to accept the court's ruling, he also expressed hope that politicians would take more responsibility for their words.

Hsieh filed the lawsuit against Su in 2003 after Su -- during his term as a legislator -- alleged that Hsieh had taken political donations worth about NT$400 million (US$12.1 million) from King's Town Construction and Kaohsiung's Yuan Heng Temple during his term as mayor of Kaohsiung.

DPP Legislator Kao Chien-chih (高建智) said at a separate event that Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) should recall Su since the court had found him guilty.

In response, Su condemned the judiciary for tolerating political corruption.

Su also defended his right to question Hsieh's integrity.

Challenging the ruling, Su said that as the Special Investigation Task Force had detained former Kaohsiung Development Association president Hsu Cheng-chao (徐政朝), who is close to Hsieh, and Kaohsiung City Government accountant Hsiao Ling-hui (蕭玲慧) over Hsieh's political donation case a few days ago, he should not be punished.

"It's the prosecutors' job to find evidence to bring corrupt officials to justice," Su said.

"What's wrong with highlighting a corruption scandal when it is in the public interest?" Su asked, adding that he would appeal the ruling.

Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih

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