Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Chiu Chuei-chen (邱垂貞) and former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Liao Fu-peng (廖福本) were yesterday sentenced to eight years and eight years and six months in prison respectively, for accepting bribes from the National Chinese Herbal Apothecary Association in 1998.
Six other former legislators were acquitted.
In its verdict, the Taipei District Court said that Chiu accepted a bribe of NT$5 million (US$151,000), while Liao accepted NT$6 million from the association. In addition to their sentences, Chiu and Liao were deprived of their civil rights for five and six years respectively, and they were ordered to return the money to the association.
Chiu said that he would appeal.
“The money I received from the association was a political donation, not a bribe. This is a problem of different definitions of the money,” Chiu said. “I will definitely appeal.”
Chiu said that everybody involved in the case had received money from the association. The method judges used to define the money he received as a bribe was not convincing, he said.
“How do you prove the money was a bribe? This is not fair,” he said.
Liao also disputed the ruling.
“I was instrumental in having more than 1,000 bills passed into law during my terms, but I never received a dime in bribes,” said Liao, who served as a lawmaker between 1992 and 2001.
The case began on Jan. 17 last year when the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Panel indicted eight former and incumbent lawmakers, including Chiu and Liao, on charges of corruption for accepting bribes from the association in return for their endorsement of an amendment to Article 103 of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act (藥事法) that would restore the right of herbalists to fill medical prescriptions.
The amendment was passed in March 1998.
In addition to Chiu and Liao, DPP legislators Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅), Jao Yung-ching (趙永清) and Lin Kuang-hua (林光華), the KMT’s Hsu Shu-po (?? and Cheng Horng-chi (陳鴻基) and People First Party legislator Feng Ting-kuo (馮定國) were also indicted.
Among those indicted, only Lee won re-election last year.
Besides Chiu and Liao, the rest were found not guilty.
Former DPP vice presidential candidate Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) was also investigated by prosecutors, but he was not indicted.
Prosecutors said that any donation of more than NT$300,000 would be considered a bribe. Su accepted NT$100,000 from the association.
Additional reporting by CNA
UNDER WATCH: Taiwan will have to establish a standardized nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus and monitor its spread, the CDC said The Langya henipavirus, which can be transmitted from animals to humans, has been discovered in China, with 35 human infections reported so far, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said, adding that the nation would establish a nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus. A study titled “A Zoonotic Henipavirus in Febrile Patients in China” that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday said that a new henipavirus associated with a fever-causing human illness was identified in China. The study said an investigation identified 35 patients with acute infection of the Langya henipavirus in China’s Shandong
MISSILE PATHS: Certain information on the Chinese missile fire was not disclosed to maintain secrecy over military intelligence-gathering capabilities, the MND said Military experts yesterday speculated on the implication of the government’s tight-lipped response and the lack of air-raid sirens during the first day of China’s military drills the previous day. On Thursday, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) launched 11 Dongfeng-series ballistic missiles into waters north, east and south of Taiwan, a day after US House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s departure from the country, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said. The Japanese Ministry of Defense said that China fired nine missiles toward Taiwan, including four that flew over Taiwan proper. However, China’s exhibition of force failed to terrorize the local populace, because
If any war were to break out between the US and China, one trigger might be the increasingly frequent fighter jet encounters near Taiwan. Almost every day, Taiwanese fighter pilots hop in their US-made F-16s to intercept Chinese warplanes screaming past their territory. The encounters probe the nation’s defenses and force the pilots on both sides to avoid mistakes that could lead to a crisis that spins out of control. “I didn’t know whether they would fire at me,” said retired colonel Mountain Wang, recounting a tense five-minute confrontation he had with Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) jets more than a decade
INCREASINGLY EMBOLDENED: China can no longer be dismissed as inexperienced, demonstrating an ability to coordinate land and sea missile systems, an expert said Beijing’s largest-ever exercises around Taiwan have offered essential clues into its plans for a grueling blockade in the event of an attack on Taiwan, and revealed an increasingly emboldened Chinese military, experts said. The visit to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi — second in line to the presidency — sparked outrage from Beijing, which launched vast military maneuvers around the nation, even at the risk of partially exposing its plans to the US and its Asian allies. Mobilizing fighter planes, helicopters and warships, the drills aim to simulate a blockade of Taiwan and include practicing an “attack on