Mon, Oct 10, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Diane Lee may still not leave Taiwan, High Court decides

By Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporter

The Taiwan High Court last week turned down a request by former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Diane Lee (李慶安) that the court lift her ban on leaving the country after she was found not guilty last month of fraud in a dual-nationality controversy.

In September 2009, the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office indicted Lee on charges of fraud. Prosecutors accused Lee of intentionally concealing her US citizenship during her term as a Taipei City councilor and three terms as a legislator.

During her first trial, the Taiwan District Court announced on Oct. 26, 2009, that Lee was barred from leaving the country for fear she might flee the country because she has family members living in the US.

After the Taiwan High Court on Aug. 23 acquitted her, Lee applied to the High Court to have the travel ban lifted.

The High Court said that although it had found her not guilty, prosecutors had brought the case to the Supreme Court and the High Court could not rule out the possibility that Lee could still flee abroad to avoid trial.

In the first trial, the Taipei District Court had sentenced Lee to two years in prison.

In March 2008, a number of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers sued Lee for fraud and corruption because she retained her US citizenship while serving as a Taipei City councilor and then as a legislator. Elected officials are not allowed to hold dual citizenship.

Lee claimed she mistakenly believed her US citizenship would automatically become invalid when she took up a public position.

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