Wed, Aug 13, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Court drops case against Lo Fu-chu

Corruption Prosecutors have yet to decide whether to appeal the ruling on the former lawmaker, who was accused of working with gangsters to blackmail others

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan High Court yesterday dropped all charges in the corruption trial against former independent legislator Lo Fu-chu (羅福助).

“There is insufficient evidence to prove that [Lo] forged documents or violated the Securities and Exchange Act (證券交易法) or the Business Accounting Law (商業會計法),” the verdict read.

However, Lin Chin-yuan (林錦源) — the Lo family’s longtime financial manager — was sentenced to three years and two months in prison and fined NT$10 million (US$330,000) for violating the Business Accounting Law and Securities and Exchange Act.

At press time, prosecutors had yet to decide whether to appeal the verdict.

Taipei prosecutors indicted Lo on June 7, 2002, on charges of corruption, fraud, breach of trust, usury, forgery and misappropriation of funds, and asked for a 30-year prison sentence.

Shortly before Lo’s indictment, then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) had issued a call to “eradicate black gold politics and put the most notorious gangster in northern Taiwan behind bars.”

The indictment said that Lo illegally embezzled and pocketed more than NT$1.3 billion by taking advantage of his position as a lawmaker and worked with local gangsters for years to blackmail businesspeople in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong.

Prosecutors also presented proof that Lo evaded taxes.

Prosecutors indicted 24 other people in the case involving Lo and Lin. High court judges sentenced them to between one and three months in jail yesterday.

The 30-year sentence was overturned by the Taipei District Court after the first trial on Sept. 25, 2003, reducing it to just four years.

On April 27, 2006, high court judges decreased it again to three years and nine months.

High court judges began a retrial after the Supreme Court granted Lo’s appeal, but decided to drop all charges against him yesterday.

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