Wed, Jan 08, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Ex-minister must begin jail term for graft, court rules

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday rejected former minister of transportation and communications Kuo Yao-chi’s (郭瑤琪) application to delay serving her eight-year prison term, ruling that Kuo has to report to the office to begin serving the term today.

Kuo, who was sentenced to eight years in prison on corruption charges, applied to the office to postpone her imprisonment due to health concerns. Kuo’s attorney said she suffered from heart disease, high blood pressure and breathing irregularities.

Kuo has been hospitalized for three days, her attorney said.

The office said prosecutors checked Kuo’s medical report yesterday afternoon and decided there was insufficient evidence in the report to show that she could not serve the term now. The office rejected Kuo’s application at 5pm, it said.

Kuo has tried to fight the conviction by every means possible.

The Taiwan High Court has rejected her appeal for a retrial. Kuo also filed an extra-appeal request with Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘), but Huang has not made a decision.

Kuo was accused of receiving a US$20,000 bribe in 2006, during the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration.

The Supreme Court upheld the conviction by the Taiwan High Court in March, which found Kuo guilty of accepting a bribe to use her position as transportation minister to grant favors to the Nan Ren Hu Group, a service industry conglomerate, even though she had been found not guilty in the first and second trials in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

Meanwhile, Taiwan National Party Chairman Tsai Chin-lung (蔡金龍) and others yesterday filed a lawsuit against eight judges who had found Kuo guilty.

The lawsuit accused them of illegal handling of the case and abusing their judicial powers.

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