Final verdict sets 12-year prison term for Yen

THREE YEARS CUT::Of the four charges, one returned a not-guilty verdict and two were commuted to fines leaving a prison term of 12 years for the former minister

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter Staff reporter

Fri, Nov 29, 2013 - Page 3

Yen Wan-ching (顏萬進), former deputy minister of the interior in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), received a 12-and-a-half-year prison sentence in the final verdict of a corruption case.

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the verdict from the second trial, in which the Taiwan High Court found Yen guilty of accepting bribes totaling NT$1.2 million (US$40,500) from a developer who wanted a construction license for the proposed Beitou gondola project.

Yen and then-director of Yangmingshan National Park Tsai Bai-lu (蔡佰祿) were detained and charged in July 2006 for taking bribes over the Beitou project, a proposed 4.9km cable car line connecting Xinbeitou MRT Station and Yangmingshan National Park.

Yen was implicated in four cases of fraud. In addition to the Beitou project, he was accused of receiving a kickback of 30 airline tickets from TransAsia Airways, embezzling a political donation of NT$5 million when he served as deputy secretary-general of the DPP.

He was also indicted for handing invoices for personal purposes to then-Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) chairman Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁) for Wu to claim reimbursement from the TWSE.

The initial trial found Yen guilty on all four charges and sentenced him to a prison term of 15 years.

The term was reduced to 12 years and eight months in the second trial as the Taiwan High Court ruled Yen not guilty of the kickback charge, and ruled that his terms for the embezzlement and invoice charges could be commuted to fines.

Yen appealed the Beitou project conviction to the Supreme Court.