Sun, Jan 01, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Former mayor attempts suicide over graft ruling

By Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporter

Former Jhongli mayor Yeh Bu-liang (葉步樑) attempted suicide late on Friday night in what he called a protest against an unfair ruling.

Yeh, of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), was convicted of bribery last week and is scheduled to begin a 12-year prison term soon.

His daughter found him unconscious on his bed on Friday evening after he swallowed more than 40 sleeping pills. He was resuscitated after being rushed to the hospital for emergency treatment.

Yeh yesterday told reporters at the hospital that he was very sad that the court found him guilty, and he wanted to die to protest against what he said was an unfair ruling.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sentenced Yeh to 12 years in prison. The former mayor was charged with receiving a bribe of NT$2 million (US$66,000) from a contractor over a park construction project during his stint in office.

The ruling said Yeh in 2002 told the contractor if he paid him NT$5 million, the city government would make things easy for him.

The contractor in July that year went to Yeh’s residence and handed him NT$2 million, the ruling said.

Yeh denied receiving the money and said the contractor never went to his residence.

However, the ruling said that because the contractor was able to describe Yeh’s residence and other evidence indicated Yeh took the money, the court found him guilty.

In addition to that case, Yeh also faced two other criminal trials. He was accused of taking bribes in four public parking lot construction projects. The Taiwan High Court in January sentenced him to five-and-a-half years in prison, and Yeh is appealing the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Taoyuan prosecutors meanwhile have also indicted Yeh and asked the Taoyuan District Court to give him a 20-year sentence, alleging he took bribes in a surveillance camera procurement project during his term in office.

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