The Taiwan High Court yesterday found four former lawmakers guilty in a third trial for accepting bribes from the National Chinese Herbal Apothecary Association.
Three former lawmakers, who were found guilty in the second trial of the case by the Taiwan High Court, were found not guilty in the same ruling.
In yesterday’s ruling, former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Chiu Chui-chen (邱垂貞) was sentenced to 10 years in jail, his civil rights were suspended for eight years and he was ordered to return NT$10 million (US$300,000).
Former DPP legislator Lin Kuang-hua (林光華) was sentenced to eight years imprisonment and his civil rights were suspended for five years. Lin was ordered to return NT$2 million.
Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmaker Hsu Shu-po (許舒博) was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison, and his civil rights were suspended for four years. He was ordered to return NT$1 million.
Former People First Party legislator Feng Ting-kuo (馮定國) was sentenced to seven years and two months in prison, with a suspension of civil rights for three years, and he was ordered to return NT$450,000.
Former DPP legislator Jao Yung-ching (趙永清), former DPP legislator Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅) and former KMT legislator Cheng Horng-chi (陳鴻基) were found not guilty because of insufficient evidence to show that they had accepted bribes.
The court threw out charges against former KMT legislator Liao Fu-peng (廖福本), who was found guilty in the second trial, because he has passed away.
All seven defendants can appeal the ruling in the Supreme Court.
According to the verdict, the four former legislators accepted bribes from the National Chinese Herbal Apothecary Association in 1996 in return for their endorsement of an amendment to Article 103 of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act (藥事法) that would restore the right of herbalists to issue medical prescriptions.
The association paid a total of NT$40 million to the lawmakers under the guise of “sponsor funds,” the ruling said.
The amendment was passed in May 1998.