Sat, Jun 07, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Former legislator Yen Ching-piao out on parole again

By Jason Pan  /  Staff writer

Former Non-Partisan Solidarity Union legislator Yen Ching-piao (顏清標) was yesterday released from Taichung Prison on parole, after serving just over 400 days of his sentence for corruption and firearm possession.

Opposition parties and critics lashed out at the Ministry of Justice for the speed at which Yen’s parole request was granted, since it took just four days to process.

Taichung Prison gave preliminary approval for his parole request on Tuesday. The request was processed unusually fast, being passed by the Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office Taichung Branch, the Taiwan High Court Taichung Branch Court and the Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office.

According to Chinese-language news reports, judicial officials defended the swift processing , saying it was handled normally, and that Yen was eligible for release because of good behavior. However, critics said the speedy processing of the paperwork hinted at political pressure.

Yen returned to prison in February last year to serve the remainder of a seven-year sentence that he began in August 2008. He served one-third of a three-and-half year sentence for illegal possession of firearms before being released on parole in May 2009.

The controversial politician has enormous influence in Taichung. He is alleged to have been involved in racketeering, illegal gravel business, attempted murder and other criminal activities.

Yen served four terms as an independent legislator from 2002 to 2012, though he had a close association and good working relationship with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

His son, KMT Legislator Yen Kuang-hen (顏寬恆), now occupies his father’s old seat after winning a by-election in January of last year.

Some Greater Taichung residents said last night the parole was a political move by the KMT, as Yen and his family’s influence and financial resources are needed to help the party’s campaign for the year-end seven-in-one elections in November.

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