Mon, May 16, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Former Tainan County speaker barred for leaving country, monitored by police

By Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporter

Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Tainan County speaker Wu Chien-pao (吳健保), who was found guilty in a sand-stealing case last week, was barred from leaving the country as he is set to begin serving a three-and-a-half year prison sentence.

Prosecutors have announced that Wu must report to authorities on Thursday to start serving his term.

Wu, who was removed from his post after the final verdict was delivered on Wednesday, told reporters at his office yesterday he would file an appeal and asked prosecutors to give him more time because he needed to arrange “some matters,” before he went to jail.

Wu said he no intention of leaving the country.

Prosecutors said they dispatched police officers to monitor Wu from outside his residence and office, and track his movements when he leaves his home or office.

More than 20 Greater Tainan councilors visited Wu’s office on Friday afternoon to express their support. They said Wu had not been given enough time between sentcing and the start of his jail term.

On Monday, the Taiwan High Court’s Greater Tainan branch found Wu guilty in a sand stealing case and sentenced him to three-and-a-half years in jail.

Wu and former city councilor Lee Chuan-fu (李全富) were charged with the illegal removal of sand from the Tsengwen River (曾文溪) after using questionable methods to win a contract to dredge the river in 2004. Wu and 25 others were indicted in August 2004 on charges of bribing officials, breaking government procurement laws and colluding to steal public assets.

In 1998, Wu represented the KMT in a bid for Tainan County councilor, and between 2002 and last year he was the speaker of what was then Tainan County.

In 2008, Wu represented his party in a bid for a legislative seat from then-Tainan County, during which President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) praised Wu’s political performance.

Wu was removed from the KMT in February last year after he was indicted on charges of fraud and bribing professional baseball players to manipulate the outcome of games.

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