The Supreme Court yesterday sentenced former Luye Township (鹿野) mayor Chang Fang-lien (張芳連) to 12 years in prison for illegally leasing state-owned property to a company in exchange for a bribe.
According to the verdict, Chang, who served as the Taitung County’s township mayor between 2002 and 2006, was approached in 2003 by Chen Jung-hui (陳榮輝), the proprietor of a gravel sand business in the township who wanted to rent a piece of government land for his company.
The township official charged with Chen’s request had informed Chang that the land Chen intended to rent had been reserved for a garbage dump and that changing what it was used for would be against the law, the verdict said. However, Chang still leased the land to Chen for nine years for NT$41,148 (US$1,385).
The verdict said that after inking the lease, Chen and his wife, Lin Chiu-chu (林秋菊), paid Chang NT$150,000 as a bribe.
Although Chang denied any wrongdoing, the Taitung District Prosecutors’ Office indicted the trio and recommended a prison term of 15 years for Chang and three years and six months for both Chen and Lin.
The trio was found guilty in both the first and second trial and subsequently filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, which remanded the case twice to lower courts for retrials.
The Taiwan High Court’s Hualien Branch recently sentenced Chang to 12 years in jail, deprived him of his civil rights for 10 years and confiscated all the money he acquired illegally. It handed down a prison term of nine months for Chen and one year for Lin.