Chen feels ill at hearing
The Taiwan High Court yesterday set a new court date of March 23 after an in camera hearing on perjury charges against former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was stopped when the former president complained of feeling ill. Chen, who is serving a 17-and-a-half-year prison term for corruption, was accused of asking former Presidential Office director Lin Teh-hsun (林德訓) to provide false testimony in July 2006 in a corruption case. Chen was sentenced to two months in jail in the first trial. Chen’s lawyer Shih Yi-lin (石宜琳) said that the first half of yesterday’s trial was not open to the public because much of the discussion involved state secrets.
German Institute relocates
The German Institute Taipei will be closed to visitors from Thursday through March 6 as the office is scheduled to relocate to new premises on the 33rd floor of Taipei 101, the world’s second-tallest occupied building, the institute said yesterday. Appointments for visa, passport and citizens’ services, which must be booked through the institute’s official Web site, will be available again from March 7, the German representative office said in a statement. The new address of the German Institute Taipei is: 33F, No. 7, Xinyi Rd, Sec 5, Taipei, 11049. The institute’s new telephone number is: 02-8722-2800.
Houbi rice delivered
An initial order of 80 tonnes of Houbi rice ordered by a Tokyo-based trading company was shipped to Japan from Tainan yesterday. The rice was supplied by Lienfa Mill in Houbi (後壁) Township, Greater Tainan, for Kanematsu Co, which placed an order for 500 tonnes of Houbi rice. Rice produced in Houbi is held in high esteem by the Japanese, Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) said. He added that Japan has some of the most stringent requirements in the world regarding the quality of rice and food safety standards. “Japan’s recognition of Houbi rice shows that its quality is on a par with the best rice in the world,” Lai said. He added that the deal demonstrated there were still markets for local agricultural produce other than China. For example, mangoes and rice from Greater Tainan have made impressive inroads into the Japanese market. Lai said that he hoped other agricultural produce would follow suit and seek out other overseas markets. He also said that central and local governments should work more closely together to develop markets and increase market share for local agricultural produce in Japan, South Korea, Singapore and other countries.