Sun, Mar 01, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Fugitive movie director Liu Jia-chang back in Taiwan

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Movie director Liu Jia-chang (劉家昌), who has been on the wanted list since May 2007 on suspicions he embezzled funds, said yesterday he returned to Taiwan on Friday to face the law.

Immigration records showed that Liu and his wife, Chang Chia-chen (章家珍) — a former movie actress who used the stage name Chen Chen (甄珍) — left Taiwan in 2001 for Hong Kong.

Their whereabouts had been unknown since.

Accompanied by his wife, Liu appeared at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Friday afternoon. After being questioned by immigration officials at the airport, they were transferred to the Public Prosecutors Office of the Taipei District Court for further questioning concerning their alleged offenses.

Later on Friday night, Liu was released on NT$3 million (US$85,700) bail and Chang on NT$1 million bail.

Prosecutors also barred the couple from relocating or leaving the country.

The National Immigration Agency said the couple had informed judicial authorities they would return to Taiwan to cooperate with the investigation regarding their involvement in a joint investment case.

The couple was wanted by prosecutors on charges of breach of trust over allegations they embezzled NT$600 million from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in August 1999. The KMT did not file charges, but prosecutors later discovered that the NT$600 million was an investment made by the KMT in Liu’s multimedia company. Liu, however, transferred the money to his private bank accounts in the US.

After repeated attempts to summon the couple to appear in court failed, the Taipei District Court issued a warrant for their arrest, which was to remain valid until Dec. 25, 2018.

Liu said he and his wife decided to come back to face the law “because Taiwan’s judicial system had returned to normal.”

Liu yesterday said he hoped prosecutors would allow him to leave for his Hong Kong concerts on March 19 and March 21.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA

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