Supreme Court upholds 20 years for prosecutor

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Jan 01, 2016 - Page 4

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a Taiwan High Court ruling sentencing former Tainan prosecutor Sung Tsung-yi (宋宗儀) to 20 years in prison for corruption and bribery.

Yesterday’s final ruling brings an end to the case of the man described in the media as one of the nation’s most corrupt prosecutors.

Court documents showed that Sung served as prosecutor in three jurisdictions and was involved in a series of bribery cases — accepting money in exchange for dropping charges against the defendants or influencing the proceedings.

The Supreme Court ruling said that while working at the Chiayi District Prosecutors’ Office in 1997, Sung accepted NT$3 million (US$90,727) in bribes from the family of Wang Mao-hsiung (王茂雄), secretary-general of a farmers’ cooperative who was accused of vote-buying and other election violations.

In exchange, Wang was freed on bail, despite reservations from other judicial officials. For that case, Sung was given a 12-year term.

In 1995, Sung was involved in a government crackdown on illegal gambling in Chiayi. The court said he “borrowed” NT$2.5 million from a gambling den operator, surnamed Chen (陳), and did not return the money. The charges against Chen were subsequently dropped.

In 1994, when he was working as a prosecutor in Yunlin County, Sung accepted an unspecified amount of money to drop charges against a man suspected of fatally shooting a person at a KTV.

After he was transferred to the Tainan District Prosecutors’ Office in 2002, Sung took NT$5 million in bribes from a gang boss, Wang Chuan-ming (王川銘), who was suspected of ordering a hit that left the intended victim a paraplegic.

Sung handled the case and after receiving a bribe, dropped all charges against Wang. The suspect hitman was later released from detention.

In August last year, the Tainan branch of the Taiwan High Court sentenced Sung to 20 years in prison. Sung appealed, but the Supreme Court upheld the Tainan court’s decision.