Senior Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politicians Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁) and Hong Chi-chang (洪奇昌) plan to seek a retrial over their conviction in a case involving property sales by Taiwan Sugar Corp (Taisugar, 台糖).
Both said that the verdict was unfair and they plan to request a retrial within 20 days.
The High Court’s Taichung Branch on Wednesday upheld the original conviction and handed Wu a prison term of three years, 10 months and Hong a two-year, four-month prison term.
Wu, who was chairman of Taisugar in 2003, was accused of giving in to Hong’s lobbying for Chun Lung Co (春龍開發公司), a property development firm, to ensure that it won the right to purchase a plot of land it was renting from Taisugar in an industrial park in Greater Taichung’s Wufeng District (霧峰).
While the court ruled that Wu had violated Taisugar’s “only-for-rent” policy on its properties, Hong said at a press conference yesterday that the origin of the policy — the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ regulation of state-owned enterprises’ public land leases and superficies — was abolished on March 28, 2001.
Hong, who wants a retrial, said that Taisugar had also enacted an internal regulation on property sales in May 2000, adding the abolition and enactment of related regulations all occurred before Wu’s chairmanship.
Former DPP lawmaker Lin Cho-shui (林濁水), who is close to Wu, said yesterday that Wu was also filing a motion for a retrial.
Other DPP members expressed support for the pair and condemned the “political influence” shown in the verdict after DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and former chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) both championed Wu’s innocence on Wednesday.
The entire trial process has been hasty and sloppy, with judges having pre-set positions on the case, DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) told a press conference yesterday morning.
Tuan, and fellow DPP lawmakers Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) and Tai Chi-chang (蔡其昌), all lambasted what they claimed was “political suppression of DPP politicians by the judicial system.”