Ex-NSC official to be compensated over detainment

By Huang Wen-huang and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Wed, Nov 07, 2012 - Page 4

The Tainan District Court yesterday ruled that former National Science Council (NSC) official Shieh Ching-jyh (謝清志), who was acquitted of corruption charges after a five-and-a-half-year judicial ordeal, be paid NT$300,000 (US$10,260) in compensation for the 60 days he spent in detention.

Shieh, along with nine other defendants, were indicted on corruption charges in 2006 after legislators and a rival bidder accused them of collaborating with Sheus Technologies Corp to pocket NT$3.4 billion from a construction project in an industrial park in Greater Tainan to reduce vibration from the high-speed rail.

Prosecutors had recommended a 15-year jail term and a NT$30 million fine for Shieh and a 12-year jail term and a NT$500 million fine for Sheus Technologies owner Hsu Hung-chang (許鴻章), who was charged with violation of the Company Act (公司法).

The Tainan District Court found Shieh not guilty in August 2008. Prosecutors filed an appeal with the High Court’s Tainan branch, which also acquitted Shih in June last year.

Prosecutors then appealed the case to the Supreme Court, which ordered the High Court’s Tainan branch to retry the case.

Shieh was acquitted of all charges in the first retrial at the High Court’s Tainan branch on July 11 this year. In compliance with the Fair and Speedy Criminal Trials Act (刑事妥速審判法), the prosecutors did not appeal the ruling again.

The act stipulates that unless the rulings of the first and second trials are unlawful or are unconstitutional, prosecutors have to abide by the first and second rulings if they are the same and may not appeal to the Supreme Court for a third trial.

All rulings in the five-and-a-half-years of judicial wrangling found Shieh innocent due to insufficient evidence.

The district court yesterday sought the maximum amount of daily compensation of NT$5,000 for Shieh’s case, citing the limitation of physical freedom and psychological ordeal Shieh was forced to endure during his detention.

“Shieh, a man with an honorable social status and reputation, was detained at a time when he received a monthly wage of about NT$160,000 and at a relatively senior age of 65. Given the tremendous impact and the trauma he suffered, he is entitled to a compensation of NT$5,000 for each day detained,” the court said.