Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Kaohsiung City councilors Chen Chun-sheng (陳春生) and Lin Hung-ming (林宏明) yesterday were convicted in a final ruling by the Supreme Court for slandering former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) during the 2008 presidential election.
In 1998, Chen released an audiotape suggesting that Hsieh’s rival in the Kaohsiung mayoral election at the time, now Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), who was seeking re-election as mayor, had had an affair with a female reporter.
Wu filed a lawsuit against Chen, who was found guilty of fabricating the tape and was sentenced to six months in prison.
In December 2006, Chen and Lin said Hsieh had given Chen the tape and asked Chen to release it.
Hsieh then filed a slander lawsuit against the two.
Chen raised the same accusation when Hsieh was representing the DPP in the 2008 presidential election.
The Supreme Court sentenced Chen and Lin to eight months in prison, and they have been deprived of their civil rights for two years.
The Supreme Court said that the pair failed to provide evidence proving the accusations against Hsieh, and that they jeopardized Hsieh’s reputation during the presidential campaign.
Responding to the verdict in a press release, Hsieh said he welcomed the decision, which proved his innocence in the case because “truth prevailed.”
Hsieh said the case had been cited by politicians and political pundits as a campaign tool to attack him in the past and his reputation had been tarnished during the long legal process.
Chen and Lin had been found guilty in all court rulings, proving that it was Lin who handed the audio recording to Chen and the two had tried to influence election results in 2006 and 2008 by providing false testimony, Hsieh said.
Additional reporting by Chris Wang