Several businesspeople found not guilty of bribing former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and his wife in exchange for banking interests will probably not face any further court proceedings, as the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office’s Special Investigation Division (SID) decided yesterday to give up a plan to appeal their not-guilty verdicts.
The prosecutors said it was with heavy hearts that they had decided not to seek another court hearing on their initial indictments of the businesspeople for handing over cash to the former first family in exchange for influence to help them acquire public bank shares during the so-called “second financial reforms” of Chen’s presidency.
They said they had to drop the plan because their hands were tied by a provision in the Speedy Criminal Trials Act (刑事妥速審判法) that says the prosecution cannot appeal not-guilty verdicts from the district and high courts unless the lower court rulings are unconstitutional, contradict the Judicial Yuan’s interpretation of the law or run counter to precedent.
Special Investigation Division spokesman Chen Hung-ta (陳宏達) said former first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) used the money she got from the businesspeople to buy luxury homes in Taipei and signed fake leases to launder the money.
It was evident that the prosecution and the court had “different views” about how the case should be dealt with, Chen Hung-ta said.
The decision will almost certainly mean that several businesspeople, including former China Development Financial Holding chief executive Angelo Koo (辜仲瑩) and Cheng Shen-chih (鄭深池), former chairman of the Mega Financial Holdings, will not face further proceedings.