Former Keelung City Council speaker Huang Ching-tai (黃景泰) was on Friday found guilty of corruption, embezzlement of public funds and other charges, and was handed a 20-year jail sentence by the Keelung District Court.
The court found Huang guilty of violating the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例), involving bribery, influence peddling, accepting kickbacks and other unlawful activities.
Most of Huang’s illegal activities related to his involvement in real-estate development, including a luxury condominium complex by JSL Group (甲山林) near Badu (八堵) Railway Station and Unison Developing Co’s (國統開發) land revitalization and street expansion project of Keelung City’s Yuemei Road (月眉路) area.
The court also found Huang guilty of embezzling public funds from the city council, amounting to NT$91.46 million (US$2.79 million), through falsified receipts and forged accounting items.
Former Keelung City councilor Cheng Yi-hsin (鄭怡信) was found guilty and sentenced to one year in prison for colluding with Huang to disburse bribery money to several sitting councilors to win approval for the Yuemei Road development project.
Four other people, including a city council accounting officer and three businessmen, were also found guilty of involvement in Huang’s cases, and were given suspended sentences of 16 months and two years.
Huang, a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) council speaker from 2010 to last year, said after the court’s ruling that he would appeal the case.
Judicial officials yesterday said the Criminal Investigation Bureau and Ministry of Justice are monitoring Huang’s movements to prevent him from fleeing the nation to evade prosecution.
Taipei police official Kao Chen-ying (高振楹) was found guilty and handed a seven-and-a-half-year term for bribery related to another real-estate project involving Huang.
Keelung District Prosecutors’ Office spokesperson Chou Chih-yung (周啟勇) said that his office would appeal the ruling, as there were a number of unreasonable aspects, where several key figures, including Huang and Cheng, were found not guilty on a number of related charges, despite evidence of their involvement, including bribery and influence peddling.
Huang, 49, was the KMT’s nominated candidate for the Keelung mayoral race last year. However, news of his alleged corruption forced the party to withdraw his nomination. Huang then quit the KMT and ran an unsuccessful bid as an independent.
Huang was released in April this year following more than 200 days in detention after posting bail of NT$20 million.
A series of discussions on the legacy of martial law and authoritarianism are to be held at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this month, featuring findings and analysis by the Transitional Justice Commission. The commission and publisher Book Republic organized the series, entitled “Escaping the Nation’s Labyrinth of Memory: What Authoritarian Symbols and Records Can Tell Us,” to help people navigate narratives through textual analysis and comparisons with other nations. The four-day series is to begin on Thursday next week with a discussion between commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Polish-language translator Lin Wei-yun (林蔚昀), and Polish author and artist Pawel Gorecki comparing
‘EFFECTIVE DETERRENCE’: If the Biden administration suspends arms sales to Taiwan, the military could still ready a nimble fighting force for defense, an analyst said The “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” last week sparked debate among analysts after US President Donald Trump declassified the document 20 years ahead of schedule. Trump on Tuesday last week released the document that had governed US strategic action in the region since the US leader approved its use in 2018. The document, which outlines US priorities in the region, emphasizes the importance of defending Taiwan against military aggression and facilitating the country’s development of asymmetric strategies and capabilities. The overall directive of the document is for the US to prevent China from establishing sustained air and sea dominance inside the first
MOVING OUT: A former professor said that rent and early education costs in Taipei are the nation’s highest, which makes it difficult for young people to start families The population of Taipei last year fell to the lowest in 23 years due to high rent, more transportation options and the expansion of northern cities into a single metropolis, academics and city officials said on Monday. Data released this month by the Ministry of the Interior showed that the capital was home to 2,602,418 people last year, down 42,623 from 2019. The decline is second only to 1993, when the population fell by 42,828 people, while Taipei’s population was the lowest it has been since 1997. Taipei saw the biggest drop among the six special municipalities, while Taoyuan led the group in
A legislator yesterday called for authorities to investigate the sale of Chinese-made, Internet-connected karaoke machines containing “propaganda songs.” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said she was approached by a person who had discovered Chinese patriotic songs such as My Motherland (我的祖國) — which is commonly referred to as China’s “second national anthem” — in Chinese-made karaoke devices sold in Taiwan. The machines are popular, as they can connect to the Internet, providing access to thousands of songs, she said. One retailer, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the machines first entered the local market about three years ago, starting with