Wed, Feb 26, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Keelung mayor may not be granted probation without confessing: judge

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Keelung Mayor Chang Tung-jung, center, who has been sentenced to one year and eight months in prison and suspended for five years for influence-peddling in a first trial, leaves the High Court after the first hearing of his second trial yesterday.

Photo: Wang Min-wei, Taipei Times

The Taiwan High Court said yesterday that Keelung Mayor Chang Tung-jung (張通榮) might not be granted probation in his second trial as he appeared in High Court for the first hearing yesterday.

Chang, of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), was sentenced to one year and eight months in prison on charges of influence-peddling his first trial, although the sentence was suspended for five years.

He was also fined NT$2 million (US$66,800) and ordered to do 200 hours of community service by the Keelung District Court in July last year.

Chang was found guilty of using his position to pressure city police officers to ignore a drunk-driving case, dating back to September 2012.

Chang, on the pretext of serving his constituents, pressured officers at the Anle Precinct into releasing a drunk woman surnamed Liao (廖), who had allegedly assaulted and injured a policewoman.

The district court said Chang appeared at the police station and demanded that the woman be released, pounding a table and threatening to transfer those who dared disobey him.

Liao was released.

At yesterday’s hearing, High Court judge Wang Wei-kuang (王偉光) asked Chang whether he confessed to the charges against him. Chang replied: “I do not.”

“My action was to stop a confrontation between a constituent and police officers, and I never forced them to free the woman,” he said.

“Your sentence was suspended in the first trial, but in my court, if a defendant does not confess the charges, and does not obtain forgiveness from nor reaches a settlement with the victims, my court will not give the defendant probation,” Wang said.

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