Fri, Jan 20, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Authorities release convicted legislator on medical parole

TOO LENIENT?A public furor erupted after news of Elmer Fung’s release, with netizens quoting him as saying that jail time would help unification with China

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Former New Party legislator Elmer Fung (馮滬祥) was on Wednesday released from prison on medical parole after serving only 85 days of a 40-month jail term for sexually assaulting his Philippine maid.

Agency of Corrections officials yesterday confirmed that Fung was released from Taipei Prison after being granted medical parole for bile duct cancer.

After seven High Court trials over 10 years, the Supreme Court in October last year upheld a guilty verdict, handing Fung a more than three-year prison term, which he began on Oct. 26 last year.

Fung was convicted of raping his Filipina maid in November 2003 and January 2004.

After he appealed a lower court ruling that found him guilty, the High Court upheld the ruling in 2007 and 2008 based on the maid’s statements, examination of medical evidence and a DNA test that matched Fung’s sample with semen found on the victim.

Before beginning his incarceration, Fung applied for a suspension to his sentence, claiming to have cancer and a history of cardiovascular illness, but officials rejected his application.

After beginning his sentence, Fung and his lawyer continued to request an early release on medical parole, saying that his condition had worsened.

The former lawmaker obtained documents confirming his diagnosis from doctors at a certified hospital, and a prison review panel approved medical parole to allow him to receive proper medical treatment, agency officials said.

News of his early parole caused heated public debate, with many people expressing anger at the leniency shown to the former legislator, who claims that his conviction was the result of political persecution.

Some netizens called Fung a hypocrite, quoting him as saying that he would gladly serve the jail term because it would help the cause of unification with China.

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