Sat, Aug 02, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Former DPP Taipei City councilor gets six-year sentence

NO APOLOGY Hsu Fu-nan was handed a longer jail term for not saying sorry, while Yen Yu-bin’s two-year sentence was suspended by the judges

By Hsiang Cheng-chen and Liu Jung  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Taipei judges jailed former Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City councilor Hsu Fu-nan (許富男) for six years on Thursday for visiting Russia using NT$1.5 million (US$50,000) in public funds in July 2005.

“The court decided on a six-year sentence for Hsu, because in addition to continuing to deny the accusation, he never apologized or expressed regret for what he did,” the verdict said.

In addition to the sentence, the judges also deprived Hsu of his civil rights for three years.

Meanwhile, Taipei City Bureau of Health Department of Planning Director Yen Yu-bin (嚴玉賓) was sentenced to two years in prison, with a one-year loss of her civil rights, but the sentence was suspended for five years as judges believed that Yen was only following a directive given by Hsu.

Both Hsu and Yen are able to appeal their sentences within 10 days of receiving their verdicts.

The verdict said that Yen felt compelled to do as Hsu had asked because councilors could make life difficult for staff members who did not fulfill their wishes.

In her defense, Yen said she carried out Hsu’s request because she “wanted to maintain a harmonious atmosphere” at the council.

In addition to Hsu and Yen, another 17 people, including councilors, officials and civilians joined the trip in 2005.

In related news, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Taitung branch passed details of its case against Taitung County Commissioner Kuang Li-chen’s (鄺麗貞) frequent foreign visits to the party’s Evaluation and Discipline Committee for further investigation.

The party decided to look into Kuang’s case after she was found to have spent more than NT$12 million (US$390,000) on foreign inspection tours since taking office two years ago.

Kuang took 10 township heads to Europe last month, despite forecasts that Typhoon Fung-wong would sweep through Taiwan from the east coast. It was her eighth foreign trip in the past two years.

After the commissioner’s behavior attracted widespread criticism from local residents and politicians across party lines, KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) asked the party’s Taitung branch to gather information and send it to the committee for further investigation.

Zuo Yi-rong (左義榮), director of the Taitung branch, said the branch had received negative comments from local residents and he urged both Kuang and the county government to enhance their crisis management capabilities.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY MO YAN-CHIH

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