Fri, Jun 27, 2008 - Page 2 News List

High Court cuts sentence for former top Chen aide

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The Taiwan High Court reduced the sentence of a former senior aide to former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday to nine years in prison for taking bribes while serving as deputy secretary-general at the Presidential Office in 2002.

The high court also ruled that Chen Che-nan (陳哲男), 67, be deprived of his civil rights for six years.

The high court’s ruling represented a reduced sentence from the 12-year jail term and 10-year suspension of civil rights that was imposed on Chen Che-nan by the Taipei District Court in December 2006.

The high court cited evidence that Chen Che-nan accepted NT$6 million (US$197,270) from businessman Liang Po-hsun (梁柏薰) in 2002 and promised to use his job influence to settle two court cases involving Liang.

The High Court said Chen Che-nan remained unrepentant, but that it had reduced the sentence in consideration of his age.

The High Court acquitted Chen Che-nan of a separate insider trading charge involving shares of Chih Kan Technology Co.

Liang, 52, the chief witness in the case against Chen Che-nan, is a former vice chairman of the Bank of Overseas Chinese. He was sentenced by the Taiwan High Court to one year in prison in November 2002 for using his influence to borrow NT$5.3 billion illegally from several branches of the bank through dummy accounts in 1996 and 1997.

Liang was also sentenced to one year and two months in prison in a separate case in January 2003 for committing forgery in real estate deals while he was chairman of the Hsinchiehchung Construction Co.

Liang fled abroad in March 2003 shortly after he filed an appeal for a deferred prison sentence. While at large in China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Africa, he said that Chen Che-nan had accepted NT$6 million from him but had failed to fulfill his promises.

In an apparent attempt to stem Liang’s anger, Chen Che-nan later returned NT$3 million to Liang via a friend, but Liang said he wanted the full amount returned.

Liang was brought to justice after he returned to Taiwan from Hong Kong in April 2006.

He voluntarily submitted evidence to prosecutors to prove that Chen Che-nan had accepted two checks totaling NT$6 million from him.

Chen Che-nan can still appeal the ruling in the Supreme Court.

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