The High Court’s Tainan branch yesterday upheld the Yunlin District Court’s verdict that found Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬) not guilty of bribery.
Su was charged by prosecutors of accepting NT$5 million (US$151,000) in bribes to speed up the approval of a landfill project in the county by skipping an environmental assessment. The prosecutors had called for Su to be given a 15-year sentence and an eight-year suspension of civil rights.
Court spokesperson Lee Wen-fu (李文福) said the court has maintained the ruling of the first trial due to insufficient evidence on the plaintiff’s part.
The Fair and Speedy Criminal Trials Act (刑事妥速審判法), passed in May 2010, states that unless a court ruling directly conflicts with the Constitution, the Judicial Yuan’s opinion, or a precedent case, the plaintiff will not be able to appeal for a re-trial, Lee said.
Speaking outside the courthouse yesterday, Su, who once led an 11-day hunger strike to protest against what she said was a political prosecution, said she had waited for this day since the investigation into the case was launched four years ago.
The court’s verdict has also proven that she did not let down her parents, her supporters in Yunlin County and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), of which she is a member, she said.
“I wish to thank the court for proving my innocence,” said Su as she called on people across the country to stop trying to attack their rivals with alleged corruption charges.
A number of supporters, including local politicians and community figures also gathered outside the courtroom in a show of support for Su.