Chen assailant jailed
A man has been jailed for two months for kicking former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in the rear, a court official said yesterday. Su An-sheng (蘇安生), 65 year-old member of the pro-unification Patriot Association (愛國同心會), was also convicted of assaulting Taiwan’s former envoy to Japan, Koh Se-kai (許世楷), for which he received a separate 30-day jail term. Su can pay a fine of NT$90,000 in place of the jail term. Su has refused to apologize for the incident in July, saying he wanted to “teach the corrupt Chen a lesson.” It happened as Chen was walking into a courtroom to face a defamation case brought by five retired military officers over claims they took kickbacks on a French frigates deal. A Taipei court in September cleared Chen of defamation.
Museum embraces holiday
Christmas decorations have been put up at the National Palace Museum in suburban Taipei this year for the first time in its history. Huang Yung-tai (黃永泰), deputy director of the museum, said on Monday that the museum hopes to promote the Christmas spirit of “sharing” and attract more visitors to one of Taiwan’s premier tourist attractions. Among additional attractions are Saturday performances, launched last month, that feature drummers, bands, dancers and jazz musicians. Visitors to the museum on Saturdays between 5pm and 8:30pm will also enjoy free entry, Ho said. A variety of different itineraries to suit the particular needs of young people, couples and families have also been organized, she said.
MRT schedule changed
Taipei City’s Muzha Line will operate on Saturday and Sunday morning until 9am to accommodate participants in the civil service examination and a marathon event over the weekend. The Taipei City Government began to suspend weekend services of the line on Dec. 6 to allow for testing of the integration of the Muzha Line and the Neihu Line so the Neihu Line can open as scheduled in June. The operation, however, will resume from 6am to 9am on Saturday to accommodate more than 40,000 people who will participate in the civil service examination, the city government said yesterday. The operation will resume from 5:30am to 9am on Sunday to accommodate participants in the exam on Sunday, as well as participants in the 2009 ING Taipei Marathon on the same day.
Former prosecutor dies
Former Taipei prosecutor Ko Chin-chu (柯金柱) died yesterday shortly after the Taipei District Court sentenced him to 20 years in prison. The court found Ko, 60, guilty of taking bribes totaling NT$6.2 million (US$204,620) in 2002 and 2003 while investigating two criminal cases, and released him from detention on NT$500,000 bail. Ko was rushed to Taipei City Hoping Hospital yesterday after he passed out while waiting in the court’s detention room for release. He died after emergency treatment failed to resuscitate him. Ko was also involved in two other corruption scandals, and the cases are still being processed by the Supreme Court and the Taiwan High Court. Ko’s friend, Lu Ching-nan (盧慶南), a lawyer who was accused of cooperating with Ko to solicit NT$5.5 million in 2002 from Hong-En Hospital and another NT$700,000 from Chung Hua Hospital in 2003, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. The other three defendants in the case were found not guilty.